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Professor Florence Joly wins the Grand Prix Ruban Rose for Research

  • Post last modified:03/11/2023

Every year, the month of October is decked out in pink, a symbol of women’s awareness of breast cancer screening. This year, on 18 October, the Ruban rose (pink ribbon) association unveiled the winners of its 2023 Grand prix Ruban rose, allocating €1,850,000 to support breast cancer research. The top prize, the Grand Prix Ruban Rose, was awarded to Professor Florence Joly, a medical oncologist at the François Baclesse Centre in Caen, for her work on “cognition and cancer”.

Although research continues to make progress, 1 in 8 women is still affected by breast cancer. Research plays a crucial role in detecting, treating, supporting and curing the disease. That’s why, since 2003, the Pink Ribbon association has been working alongside researchers, doctors and associations to support research projects that contribute to the fight against breast cancer.

You won the Grand prix Ruban rose. What is it?

The Grand Prix Ruban Rose is awarded to an internationally renowned researcher for his or her work in the field of breast cancer. For me, it was in recognition of my research into the impact of cancer and its treatment on cognition. I received this prize, worth 300,000 euros, from the President of the French National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet.

What research are you currently involved in?

My research team, within the Anticipe U1086 Unit, Inserm U1086 in Caen, is working on the research theme of “living with cancer”. More specifically, I’m conducting research into cognitive disorders induced by cancer and its treatments.

We are conducting research into cognitive disorders caused by cancer and its treatments. My work aims to understand the neurological effects of treatment. Although therapeutic advances are enabling patients to live longer, treatments have side effects. These include cognitive changes, which are the second most common side effect after fatigue; however, they are still poorly understood and poorly identified.

Although these cognitive changes are generally short-lived, they can sometimes persist for 10 to 20 years after chemotherapy. My work focuses on three areas: assessing these changes, understanding them to anticipate the consequences, and developing innovative treatments to improve patients’ quality of life. Our aim is to propose interventional studies to improve these disorders.

What will this prize enable you to do?

This prize will enable me to take on a post-doctoral fellow to continue developing the connected platform project that we want to set up. This project will span several years and will help us to offer patients a personalised solution.