Alain Sarasin, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Genetic Instability and Cancer, UPR2169 CNRS, Institut Gustave Roussy, PR2, 39, rue Camille Desmoulins, 94805 VILLEJUIF, FRANCE

The XP Society first met with Dr. Sarasin in the Spring of 1996 when both Caren and Dan Mahar got to visit Villejuif, France on a trip sponsored by XL Productions, a Paris based film company.
In addition to serving on the XP Society Advisory Board, Alain Sarasin works with the Association pour le Xeroderma Pigmentosum (AXP) in France.


  • Functional Retroviral Vector for Gene Therapy of Xeroderma Pigmentosum Group D Patients, by M. Carreau, X. Quillet, E.Eveno, A. Salvetti, O. Danos, J-M. Heard, Alain Sarasin, et al.
    Human Gene Therapy 6:1307-1315 (Oct. 1995), Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
    The first step toward gene therapy for the DNA repair disease xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) has been established by Carreau et al. They report the construction of a retroviral vector containing one of the DNA repair genes, the XP complementation group D previously known as ERCC2. Gene transfer was carried out on fibroblasts from two XP complementation group D patients referred to their laboratory. Complete phenotypic correction of the DNA repair defect in cells from both patients was achieved after the introduction of a functional copy of the XPD gene. This vector will then be used to modify keratinocytes to produce repair proficient reconstituted skin for engraftment at the most exposed areas. In this view, this study represents the first step toward long-term skin cancer therapy for XP patients.
  • Reconstruction of DNA repair-deficient xeroderma pigmentosum skin in the laboratory
    This breakthrough development, published in July 2001, should enable research to be conducted without direct experimentation on XP patients. The full title of this work is:
    “Clues to epidermal cancer proneness revealed by reconstruction of DNA repair-deficient xeroderma pigmentosum skin in vitro” by Françoise Bernerd, Daniel Asselineau, Corinne Vioux, Odile Chevallier-Lagente, Bakar Bouadjar, Alain Sarasin, and Thierry Magnaldo
  • Alain Sarasin is one of the authors of Pathology and Genetics of Skin Tumours (ISBN-10: 92-832-2414-0) scheduled for publication by Oxford Press in November, 2006.

Alain Sarasin is a member of the European Environmental Mutagen Society (EEMS) and past president of Société Française de Toxicologie Génétique (SFTG).
In 2004, Professor Sarasin received the Frits Sobels Award for his outstanding contributions to the research on the cellular processes coping with DNA lesions, particularly those induced by UV-light. These experiments provided not only fundamental information on the mechanisms of mutagenesis, but also medical data allowing a better detection and eventually a better treatment of DNA repair-deficient patients.
September 2005, Dr. Sarasin presented MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF SUNLIGHT-INDUCED SKIN CANCER at the 9th International Conference on Environmental Mutagens in San Francisco.

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