European Cancer and Bone Metastasis Laboratory (ECBML)

ECBML, a European-associated laboratory on cancer and bone metastasis, is a collaboration between INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the University of Sheffield.


The laboratory was founded to formalise complementary capabilities between Professor Clézardin’s INSERM laboratory in Lyon and the clinical and laboratory-based bone oncology researchers in Sheffield. The Mellanby Bone Centre is the umbrella organisation under which ECBML will conduct this four-year research and training program.

The ECBML‘s research program aims at investigating the roles of axon guidance receptors and of RANK/RANKL in mediating the residence of breast cancer cells in the osteogenic niche and identifying tumour-derived miRNAs that are predictive of relapse in postmenopausal women with early, hormone-responsive breast cancer. This research program is likely to extend in the near future to other key aspects of musculoskeletal diseases that are currently being investigated in Lyon and Sheffield. An additional objective for ECBML is to promote exchanges of students and young researchers between the groups and capitalize on the expertise of each side, including access to techniques, facilities and equipment.

This program will reinforce the international visibility of both groups and provide a springboard for European and international funding programs which can be used to develop larger-scale collaborative projects.