The CRCM was created in 1972 as a joint research Inserm/University unit – U119 – located on the campus of the Paoli-Calmettes Institute, The Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Provence Alpes-Cote d’Azur region in Southern France, with the aim to advance the understanding of the biology of cancers by working at the interface between physiology and pathology, basic research and applied and clinical research. This continuum between basic research, translational research and clinical research is still the hallmark of the CRCM.
The CRCM’s workforce has grown from 20 researchers in the 1970s to 120 researchers – 8 research teams – in 2008 when it was recognized by Inserm as a Research Center, then to 250 researchers and 17 teams in 2012 after the merge with the ‘Genomics and Cancer’ Institute, a joint CNRS / University research unit, and with the joint Inserm / University ‘Cell Stress’ unit, and the arrival of two other teams on chemo-biology and cell signaling. In 2014, a bioinformatics team joined the CRCM, and in 2016 a 6th team working on genomic instability. After its evaluation by the High Commission for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES), the center was recreated in 2018, with the creation of a new team working on cancer stem cells.
With the arrival of these new teams, the CRCM has expanded both its research activities and its expertise to help understand, diagnose and treat cancer better and faster.