John Stagg, Ph.D.

Associate professor;
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal;
Université de Montréal, CRCHUM and Institut du cancer de Montréal.
Mots clés: Immune checkpoint, immunotherapy, CD73, adenosine, cancer

Contact :

Office: 514 890-8000 x.25170

1999 - 2005 Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine, McGill University

2005 - 2010 Postdocoral fellow in Tumor immunology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia

2007-2010 CIHR post-doctoral fellowship 



2011 FRQS - Junior 1 salary award

2015 CHUM - Young investigator award for outstanding scientific contribution from an investigator within 10 years of first Faculty appointment. 

2015 CIHR - New Investigator Salary Award

  • CIHR Project

  • Cancer Research Society

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada

  • Susan G. Komen Foundation

  • Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation

  • Terry Fox Research Institut

  • Prostate Cancer Cancer

Target validation in immuno-oncology

  • Investigate the immunological pathways regulating cancer progression, metastasis and treatment response;

  • Understand the role of the CD73-adenosine pathway in cancer; 

  • Develop new targeted cancer therapies based on immune-stimulation;

  • Develop novel biomarkers in immuno-oncology;

  • Translate scientific findings to clinical practice.


Research projects:

The Adenosine Pathway 

My group has identified the CD73-adenosinergic system as an important pathway promoting cancer growth and immune escape. Phase 1 clinical trials targeting the adenosine pathway were initiated in 2016. We are investigating the mechanisms underlying CD73-mediated tumor growth and immunosuppression, and the role of adenosine signaling in the progression of different types of cancers.



We are performing genomic and targeted screens, as well as translational studies in cancer patients, to identify novel targets in immuno-oncology. Using established model system, we develop biological agents targeting these new pathways and validate the proof-of-concept of these new agents in pre-clinical studies.


Associated websites: 


  1. Tumor immunity 


Pharma collaborators:

  • Surface Oncology

  • Amorchem

  1. Bertrand Allard (PhD, PDF,)

  2. Davis Allard (BSc, PhD trainee)

  3. Laurence Buisseret (MD, PhD)

  4. Pavel Chrobak (PhD, research associate)

  5. Isabelle Cousineau (PhD, research assistant)

  6. Vincent Deslisle (BSc, MSc)

  7. Pierre Olivier Gaudreau (MD, PhD)

  8. Loïse Gilbert (animal technician)

  9. Marjorie Bergeron (MSc, PhD trainee)

  10. Sandra Pommey (MSc, research associate)

  11. Martin Turcotte (BSc, PhD trainee)

  1. 2017. Charlebois, R, Allard, B, Allard, D, Buisseret, L, Turcotte, M, Pommey, S, Chrobak, P, Stagg, J. PolyI:C and CpG Synergize with Anti-ErbB2 mAb for Treatment of Breast Tumors Resistant to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. Cancer Res. 77(2): p. 312-319.

  2. 2017. Buisseret, L.Garaud, Wind, A.Van den Eynden, G.Boisson, A.Solinas, C.Gu-Trantien, C.Naveaux, C.Lodewyckx, J. N.Duvillier, H.Craciun, L.Veys, I.Larsimont, D.Piccart-Gebhart, M.Stagg, J.Sotiriou, C.Willard-Gallo, K. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte composition, organization and PD-1/ PD-L1 expression are linked in breast cancer. Oncoimmunology. 6(1): p. e1257452.

  3. 2017. Beavis, P. A.Henderson, M. A.Giuffrida, L.Mills, J. K.Sek, K.Cross, R. S.Davenport, A. J.John, L. B.Mardiana, S.Slaney, C. Y.Johnstone, R. W.Trapani, J. A.Stagg, J.Loi, S.Kats, L.Gyorki, D.Kershaw, M. H.Darcy, P. K., Targeting the adenosine 2A receptor enhances chimeric antigen receptor T cell efficacy. J Clin Invest. 127(3): p. 929-941.

  4. 2016. Mittal, D.Sinha, D.Barkauskas, D.Young, A.Kalimutho, M.Stannard, K.Caramia, F.Haibe-Kains, B.Stagg, J.Khanna, K. K.Loi, S.Smyth, M. J. , Adenosine 2B Receptor Expression on Cancer Cells Promotes Metastasis. Cancer Res, 2016. 76(15): p. 4372-82.

  5. 2016. Leclerc, B. G. Charlebois, R.Chouinard, G.Allard, B.Pommey, S.Saad, F.Stagg, J., CD73 Expression Is an Independent Prognostic Factor in Prostate Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 22(1): p. 158-66.

  6. 2016. Gaudreau, P. O. Stagg, J.Soulieres, D.Saad, F., CD73-adenosine reduces immune responses and survival in ovarian cancer patients. Oncoimmunology. 5(5): p. e1127496.

  7. 2015. Turcotte, M.Spring, K.Pommey, S.Chouinard, G.Cousineau, I.George, J.Chen, G. M.Gendoo, D. M.Haibe-Kains, B.Karn, T.Rahimi, K.Le Page, C.Provencher, D.Mes-Masson, A. M.Stagg, J., CD73 is associated with poor prognosis in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Cancer Res. 75(21): p. 4494-503.

  8. 2015. Chrobak, P.Charlebois, R.Rejtar, P.El Bikai, R.Allard, B.Stagg, J., CD73 plays a protective role in collagen-induced arthritis. J Immunol, 2015. 194(6): p. 2487-92.

  9. 2014. Allard, B., M. Turcotte, and J. Stagg, Targeting CD73 and downstream adenosine receptor signaling in triple-negative breast cancer. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 18(8): p. 863-81.

  10. 2014. Allard, B.Turcotte, M.Spring, K.Pommey, S.Royal, I.Stagg, J., Anti-CD73 therapy impairs tumor angiogenesis. Int J Cancer. 134(6): p. 1466-73.

  11. 2013. Allard, B.Pommey, S.Smyth, M. J.Stagg, J., Targeting CD73 enhances the antitumor activity of anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 mAbs. Clin Cancer Res. 19(20): p. 5626-35.