Hypoxic stress in the tumor microenvironment is associated with tumor resistance to anti-cancer therapies. Hypoxia has been reported to play a key role in shielding tumour cells from immune cell attack either by promoting immune suppression, or by inducing many other oncogenic events and/or resistance mechanism (e.g. autophagy) in cancer cells, allowing tumour to escape from immune cell attack. We are interested in studying the molecular mechanism by which hypoxia allows cancer cells escape from immune surveillance and to investigate how targeting autophagy could improve cancer immunotherapy by switching the tumor microenvironment from immunosuppressive to immunopermissive for cytotoxic immune cells. Our collaboration with Gustave Roussy Cancer Center (France) allows us to conduct research at the interface between fundamental and clinically-oriented research programs.

Research projects

  • Effect of targeting hypoxia-induced autophagy in the improvement of the anti-tumour immune response in vivo.
  • Investigation of the autophagy-dependent mechanism involved in the regulation of tumour cell susceptibility to immune cell-mediated killing under hypoxic stress.
  • Study of the temporal dynamic of immune cells infiltrating autophagy competent or defective hypoxic tumours.

Featured Publications

Dual PD1/LAG3 immune checkpoint blockade limits tumor development in a murine model of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

  • Tumor Stroma Interactions
  • National Cytometry Platform
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • NORLUX-Glioma Biology
  • Allergy and Clinical Immunology
February 13, 2018
2018 Feb. Blood. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Wierz M
  • Pierson S
  • Guyonnet L
  • Viry E
  • Lequeux A
  • Oudin A
  • Niclou SP
  • Ollert M
  • Berchem G
  • Janji B
  • Guerin C
  • Paggetti J
  • Moussay E.

Targeting autophagy blocks melanoma growth by bringing natural killer cells to the tumor battlefield.

  • Tumor Microenvironment
January 25, 2018
2018 Jan. Autophagy.1-7. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Noman MZ
  • Berchem G
  • Janji B.
See all publications


Bassam Janji


84, rue Val Fleuri
L-1526 Luxembourg
Tel. : +352 26970-285