Precision Oncology Center (COP)

The Precision Oncology Center’s core mission is to promote personalized approaches to cancer treatment based on real-world data (RWD) collected for the entire population of past patients. We are particularly active in the following focus areas: 1) Provide access to personalized care at the forefront of clinical research to patients of CHUV and the region through the Réseau Romand d’Oncologie. This network allows oncologists to refer patients to the Molecular Tumor Board, a team of specialists able to recommend innovative treatment strategies based on the latest discoveries in genomics, histopathology, bioinformatics and more. 2) Create a pole of excellence to provide first-class training in Precision Oncology to medical doctors, as well as data analysts and scientists. 3) Promote patient data integration within the hospital and RWD sharing in Switzerland and beyond. Notably, the Precision Oncology Center is leading the implementation of the Swiss Personalized Oncology network, which aims at mutualizing access to patient data across Switzerland. 4) Harness the fast-growing trove of RWD generated at CHUV and beyond to foster research in biomarker discovery. Prominent areas of research include machine learning, digital pathology, radiomics, genomics, and single-cell transcriptomics. ...

Research projects

Swiss health networks

We are leading the Swiss Personalized Oncology (SPO) consortium that assembles medical oncologists specialized in precision oncology from the Swiss university hospitals together with high profile scientists involved in specific –omics analyses (single-cell proteomics, single-cell transcriptomics, drug screening, digital pathology). SPO aims to bring -omics results back to patient care by ensuring national data interoperability, rapid turnaround times, and automated generation of clinical reports that will support therapeutic decision making within the existing molecular tumor boards. In addition, SPO aims to understand the factors associated with primary or acquired resistance to immunotherapy in order to identify predictive biomarkers to help treatment decisions.

Advanced data analytics

We develop interactive data visualization tools to make data available in a convenient form to clinicians and researchers. Our tools allow quickly assembling virtual cohorts of real-world patients using searches in structured or free-text fields of the electronic patient records, and to curate data on treatments, radiological response, toxicities, comorbidities and more. We then apply cutting edge supervised and unsupervised methods to select covariates of interest and to derive predictors of patient outcomes.

Computational Pathology

The analysis of histological sections of tumor tissue is widely used as a diagnostic tool for various forms of cancers. In collaboration with the Pathologie department, we aim to exploit this rich source of patient-specific information much further by combining it with modern image processing and machine learning techniques. In particular, multiplexed immunohistochemistry (mIHC) images can be analyzed in terms of complex features, such as density profiles, cell type co-localization, network connectedness, which can be subsequently fed to machine learning algorithms.


While current outcome assessments from CT or PET-CT imaging rely on aggregate grading such as RECIST, semi-automated image analysis techniques make it possible to follow the evolution of single lesions. In addition to their size, a large number of so-called radiomics features can be calculated, which capture shape, intensity distributions, texture measures, etc… Such radiomics features can then be used, in collaboration with experts in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, to inform models of tumor dynamics, or to train predictors of response to treatment.

Latest publications

Expression of Concern: Durable Suppression of Acquired MEK Inhibitor Resistance in Cancer by Sequestering MEK from ERK and Promoting Antitumor T-cell Immunity.

Hong A, Piva M, Liu S, (...), Ribas A, Moriceau G, Lo RS

Cancer discovery – 2024 Jul 1

SwissDock 2024: major enhancements for small-molecule docking with Attracting Cavities and AutoDock Vina.

Bugnon M, Röhrig UF, Goullieux M, (...), Daina A, Michielin O, Zoete V

Nucleic acids research – 2024 Apr 30

Combining SiRPα decoy-coengineered T cells and antibodies augments macrophage-mediated phagocytosis of tumor cells.

Stefanidis E, Semilietof A, Pujol J, (...), Sandaltzopoulos R, Coukos G, Irving M

The Journal of clinical investigation – 2024 Apr 23

Effects of CTLA-4 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms on Toxicity of Ipilimumab-Containing Regimens in Patients With Advanced Stage Melanoma.

de Joode K, Mora AR, van Schaik RHN, (...), Parvex SL, Mathijssen R, Metaxas Y

Journal of immunotherapy – 2024 Feb 6

Response to tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte adoptive therapy is associated with preexisting CD8(+) T-myeloid cell networks in melanoma.

Barras D, Ghisoni E, Chiffelle J, (...), Harari A, Laniti DD, Coukos G

Science immunology – 2024 Feb 2

Outcomes of patients with resected stage III/IV acral or mucosal melanoma, treated with adjuvant anti-PD-1 based therapy.

Jacques SK, McKeown J, Grover P, (...), Menzies AM, Lo SN, Carlino MS

European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) – 2024 Jan 22

Efficacy and safety of ‘Second Adjuvant’ therapy with BRAF/MEK inhibitors after local therapy for recurrent melanoma following adjuvant PD-1 based immunotherapy.

Taylor AM, McKeown J, Dimitriou F, (...), Long GV, Carlino MS, Menzies AM

European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) – 2024 Jan 20


Principal investigators

Selected Publications

Dendritic cells direct circadian anti-tumour immune responses.

Wang C, Barnoud C, Cenerenti M, (...), Pittet MJ, Jandus C, Scheiermann C

Nature – 2022 Dec 5

Clinical relevance of tumour-associated macrophages.

Pittet MJ, Michielin O, Migliorini D

Nature reviews. Clinical oncology – 2022 Mar 30

Structure and Plasticity of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase 1 (IDO1).

Röhrig UF, Michielin O, Zoete V

Journal of medicinal chemistry – 2021 Dec 15

Turning tumors from cold to inflamed to improve immunotherapy response.

Gerard CL, Delyon J, Wicky A, (...), Homicsko K, Cuendet MA, Michielin O

Cancer treatment reviews – 2021 May 19

Late-onset and long-lasting immune-related adverse events from immune checkpoint-inhibitors: An overlooked aspect in immunotherapy.

Ghisoni E, Wicky A, Bouchaab H, (...), Cuendet MA, Di Maio M, Michielin O

European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) – 2021 Apr 14

Swiss-PO: a new tool to analyze the impact of mutations on protein three-dimensional structures for precision oncology.

Krebs FS, Zoete V, Trottet M, (...), Pouchon T, Bovigny C, Michielin O

NPJ precision oncology – 2021 Mar 18

Evolving impact of long-term survival results on metastatic melanoma treatment.

Michielin O, Atkins MB, Koon HB, Dummer R, Ascierto PA

Journal for immunotherapy of cancer – 2020 Oct

ESMO consensus conference recommendations on the management of metastatic melanoma: under the auspices of the ESMO Guidelines Committee.

Keilholz U, Ascierto PA, Dummer R, (...), Tawbi H, Testori A, Michielin O

Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology – 2020 Aug 4

The combination of stereotactic radiosurgery with immune checkpoint inhibition or targeted therapy in melanoma patients with brain metastases: a retrospective study.

Martins F, Schiappacasse L, Levivier M, (...), Wicky A, Bourhis J, Michielin O

Journal of neuro-oncology – 2019 Dec 14

SwissTargetPrediction: updated data and new features for efficient prediction of protein targets of small molecules.

Daina A, Michielin O, Zoete V

Nucleic acids research – 2019 Jul 2

SwissADME: a free web tool to evaluate pharmacokinetics, drug-likeness and medicinal chemistry friendliness of small molecules.

Daina A, Michielin O, Zoete V

Scientific reports – 2017 Mar 3

Combining talimogene laherparepvec with immunotherapies in melanoma and other solid tumors.

Dummer R, Hoeller C, Gruter IP, Michielin O

Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII – 2017 Feb 25

SwissSimilarity: A Web Tool for Low to Ultra High Throughput Ligand-Based Virtual Screening.

Zoete V, Daina A, Bovigny C, Michielin O

Journal of chemical information and modeling – 2016 Jul 19

1,2,3-Triazoles as inhibitors of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 2 (IDO2).

Röhrig UF, Majjigapu SR, Caldelari D, (...), Vogel P, Zoete V, Michielin O

Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters – 2016 Jul 16

Attracting cavities for docking. Replacing the rough energy landscape of the protein by a smooth attracting landscape.

Zoete V, Schuepbach T, Bovigny C, (...), Daina A, Röhrig UF, Michielin O

Journal of computational chemistry – 2015 Nov 12

Dramatic response of vemurafenib-induced cutaneous lesions upon switch to dual BRAF/MEK inhibition in a metastatic melanoma patient.

Peters S, Bouchaab H, Zimmerman S, (...), Letovanec I, Homicsko K, Michielin O

Melanoma research – 2014 Oct

Structure-Based, Rational Design of T Cell Receptors.

Zoete V, Irving M, Ferber M, Cuendet MA, Michielin O

Frontiers in immunology – 2013 Sep 12