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

Thioridazine inhibits autophagy and sensitizes glioblastoma cells to temozolomide.

  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • NORLUX-Glioma Biology
April 01, 2019
2019 Apr. Int J Cancer.144(7):1735-1745. Epub 2018 Dec 11.
  • Johannessen TC
  • Hasan-Olive MM
  • Zhu H
  • Denisova O
  • Grudic A
  • Latif MA
  • Saed H
  • Varughese JK
  • Rosland GV
  • Yang N
  • Sundstrom T
  • Nordal A
  • Tronstad KJ
  • Wang J
  • Lund-Johansen M
  • Simonsen A
  • Janji B
  • Westermarck J
  • Bjerkvig R
  • Prestegarden L.

Actin cytoskeleton remodeling drives breast cancer cell escape from natural killer-mediated cytotoxicity.

  • Cytoskeleton and Cancer Progression
  • National Cytometry Platform
  • NORLUX-Glioma Biology
  • Tumor Microenvironment
October 01, 2018
2018 Oct. Cancer Res.78(19):5631-5643. Epub 2018 Aug 13.
  • Al Absi A
  • Wurzer H
  • Guerin C
  • Hoffmann C
  • Moreau F
  • Mao X
  • Brown-Clay J
  • Petrolli R
  • Casellas CP
  • Dieterle M
  • Thiery JP
  • Chouaib S
  • Berchem G
  • Janji B
  • Thomas C.
See all publications


Bassam Janji


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