Kushtrim Kryeziu

  • Project group leader; Researcher; PhD
  • +47 22781737

ORCID: 0000-0002-6633-4818


Molecular cell biologist with expertise in establishing patient-derived tumor organoid (PDO) models and executing mechanistic and functional studies integrated with genomics. My research focuses on understanding tumor heterogeneity and identifying personalized cancer therapies to improve patient outcomes.

Current Position

  • Project group leader in functional precision oncology, Oslo University Hospital (OUH), Department of Molecular Oncology, Norway


  • 2016: PhD in Malignant Diseases: Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2012: Mag.rer.nat in Genetics and Microbiology, University of Vienna, Austria

Research interests

  • Patient-derived tumor organoids (PDOs): Developing and characterizing these models to understand cancer biology and drug response.
  • Personalized cancer therapy: Using PDOs to predict individual patients´ response to specific treatments.
  • PARP inhibitor efficacy in colorectal cancer: Investigating and improving the effectiveness of this drug class in treating colorectal cancer.
  • Mechanisms of drug resistance: Understanding how tumors develop resistance to treatment, including both intrinsic and acquired mechanisms.

Fellowships and Awards

  • 2023: Early Career Award, Oslo University Hospital
  • 2022: Researcher of the Year, Institute for Cancer Research and the Norwegian Radium Hospital Legacy, OUH
  • 2022: BBA - Reviews on Cancer, selected journal front cover for the 2022 calendar year
  • 2016: Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship for developing talents (Scientia Fellows), European Commission and the University of Oslo


  • 2024-2027: Unleashing the potential of PARP inhibitors against colorectal cancer. South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authorities
  • 2024: Co-culture assay for modeling the activity of immune checkpoint inhibitors in colorectal cancer, Familien Blix Fond
  • 2016-2018: Marie Skłodowska-Curie mobility grant, European Commission and the University of Oslo

Invited presentations at national and international scientific meetings

  • 2024: Norway Life Science 2024 (Microphysiological systems, organoids and organ on a chip technology, NOR_MPS symposium), Oslo. “Heterogeneity of tumor organoids derived from patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases
  • 2023: EACR-OECI Molecular Pathology Approach to Cancer, Bergamo, Italy. Oral presentation: “Immunohistopathology of organoids derived from multifocal colorectal cancer liver metastases“.
  • 2022: The 7th international Conference on Cancer Research & Drug Development, Baltimore, USA. “Ex vivo treatment modeling of metastatic colorectal cancers in the context of tumor heterogeneity“.
  • 2018: American Association for Cancer Research, Special Conference on Intestinal stem cells and colon cancer: Biology to Therapy, Washington, DC, USA. Oral presentation: “Ex vivo pharmacogenomic heterogeneity of colorectal liver metastases”.

Public engagement

Complete publication list


Publications 2024

Totland MZ, Knudsen LM, Rasmussen NL, Omori Y, Sørensen V, Elster VCW, Stenersen JM, Larsen M, Jensen CL, Zickfeldt Lade AA, Bruusgaard E, Basing S, Kryeziu K, Brech A, Aasen T, Lothe RA, Leithe E (2024)
The E3 ubiquitin ligase ITCH negatively regulates intercellular communication via gap junctions by targeting connexin43 for lysosomal degradation
Cell Mol Life Sci, 81 (1), 171
DOI 10.1007/s00018-024-05165-8, PubMed 38597989

Publications 2023

Caban M, Koblmueller B, Groza D, Schueffl HH, Terenzi A, Tolios A, Mohr T, Mathuber M, Kryeziu K, Jaunecker C, Pirker C, Keppler BK, Berger W, Kowol CR, Heffeter P (2023)
A novel EGFR inhibitor acts as potent tool for hypoxia-activated prodrug systems and exerts strong synergistic activity with VEGFR inhibition in vitro and in vivo
Cancer Lett, 565, 216237
DOI 10.1016/j.canlet.2023.216237, PubMed 37211067

Totland MZ, Omori Y, Sørensen V, Kryeziu K, Aasen T, Brech A, Leithe E (2023)
Endocytic trafficking of connexins in cancer pathogenesis
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis, 1869 (7), 166812
DOI 10.1016/j.bbadis.2023.166812, PubMed 37454772

Publications 2022

Kryeziu K, Bergsland CH, Guren TK, Sveen A, Lothe RA (2022)
Multiplex immunohistochemistry of metastatic colorectal cancer and ex vivo tumor avatars
Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer, 1877 (1), 188682
DOI 10.1016/j.bbcan.2022.188682, PubMed 35065193

Publications 2021

Kryeziu K, Moosavi SH, Bergsland CH, Guren MG, Eide PW, Totland MZ, Lassen K, Abildgaard A, Nesbakken A, Sveen A, Lothe RA (2021)
Increased sensitivity to SMAC mimetic LCL161 identified by longitudinal ex vivo pharmacogenomics of recurrent, KRAS mutated rectal cancer liver metastases
J Transl Med, 19 (1), 384
DOI 10.1186/s12967-021-03062-3, PubMed 34496878

Sveen A, Johannessen B, Eilertsen IA, Røsok BI, Gulla M, Eide PW, Bruun J, Kryeziu K, Meza-Zepeda LA, Myklebost O, Bjørnbeth BA, Skotheim RI, Nesbakken A, Lothe RA (2021)
The expressed mutational landscape of microsatellite stable colorectal cancers
Genome Med, 13 (1), 142
DOI 10.1186/s13073-021-00955-2, PubMed 34470667

Publications 2020

Bruun J, Kryeziu K, Eide PW, Moosavi SH, Eilertsen IA, Langerud J, Røsok B, Totland MZ, Brunsell TH, Pellinen T, Saarela J, Bergsland CH, Palmer HG, Brudvik KW, Guren T, Dienstmann R, Guren MG, Nesbakken A, Bjørnbeth BA, Sveen A, Lothe RA (2020)
Patient-Derived Organoids from Multiple Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases Reveal Moderate Intra-patient Pharmacotranscriptomic Heterogeneity
Clin Cancer Res, 26 (15), 4107-4119
DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3637, PubMed 32299813

Smeby J, Kryeziu K, Berg KCG, Eilertsen IA, Eide PW, Johannessen B, Guren MG, Nesbakken A, Bruun J, Lothe RA, Sveen A (2020)
Molecular correlates of sensitivity to PARP inhibition beyond homologous recombination deficiency in pre-clinical models of colorectal cancer point to wild-type TP53 activity
EBioMedicine, 59, 102923
DOI 10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102923, PubMed 32799124

Publications 2019

Kryeziu K, Bruun J, Guren TK, Sveen A, Lothe RA (2019)
Combination therapies with HSP90 inhibitors against colorectal cancer
Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer, 1871 (2), 240-247
DOI 10.1016/j.bbcan.2019.01.002, PubMed 30708039

Publications 2017

Schoenhacker-Alte B, Mohr T, Pirker C, Kryeziu K, Kuhn PS, Buck A, Hofmann T, Gerner C, Hermann G, Koellensperger G, Keppler BK, Berger W, Heffeter P (2017)
Sensitivity towards the GRP78 inhibitor KP1339/IT-139 is characterized by apoptosis induction via caspase 8 upon disruption of ER homeostasis
Cancer Lett, 404, 79-88
DOI 10.1016/j.canlet.2017.07.009, PubMed 28716523

Sveen A, Bruun J, Eide PW, Eilertsen IA, Ramirez L, Murumägi A, Arjama M, Danielsen SA, Kryeziu K, Elez E, Tabernero J, Guinney J, Palmer HG, Nesbakken A, Kallioniemi O, Dienstmann R, Lothe RA (2017)
Colorectal Cancer Consensus Molecular Subtypes Translated to Preclinical Models Uncover Potentially Targetable Cancer Cell Dependencies
Clin Cancer Res, 24 (4), 794-806
DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-1234, PubMed 29242316

Traxl A, Beikbaghban T, Wanek T, Kryeziu K, Pirker C, Mairinger S, Stanek J, Filip T, Sauberer M, Kuntner C, Berger W, Langer O (2017)
[11C]Erlotinib PET cannot detect acquired erlotinib resistance in NSCLC tumor xenografts in mice
Nucl Med Biol, 52, 7-15
DOI 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2017.05.007, PubMed 28575795

Publications 2016

Henke H, Kryeziu K, Banfić J, Theiner S, Körner W, Brüggemann O, Berger W, Keppler BK, Heffeter P, Teasdale I (2016)
Macromolecular Pt(IV) Prodrugs from Poly(organo)phosphazenes
Macromol Biosci, 16 (8), 1239-1249
DOI 10.1002/mabi.201600035, PubMed 27169668

Hoda MA, Pirker C, Dong Y, Schelch K, Heffeter P, Kryeziu K, van Schoonhoven S, Klikovits T, Laszlo V, Rozsas A, Ozsvar J, Klepetko W, Döme B, Grusch M, Hegedüs B, Berger W (2016)
Trabectedin Is Active against Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cell and Xenograft Models and Synergizes with Chemotherapy and Bcl-2 Inhibition In Vitro
Mol Cancer Ther, 15 (10), 2357-2369
DOI 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0846, PubMed 27512118

Kryeziu K, Pirker C, Englinger B, van Schoonhoven S, Spitzwieser M, Mohr T, Körner W, Weinmüllner R, Tav K, Grillari J, Cichna-Markl M, Berger W, Heffeter P (2016)
Chronic arsenic trioxide exposure leads to enhanced aggressiveness via Met oncogene addiction in cancer cells
Oncotarget, 7 (19), 27379-93
DOI 10.18632/oncotarget.8415, PubMed 27036042

Langsteger W, Rezaee A, Loidl W, Geinitz HS, Fitz F, Steinmair M, Broinger G, Pallwien-Prettner L, Beheshti M, Imamovic L, Beheshti M, Rendl G, Hackl D, Tsybrovsky O, Steinmair M, Emmanuel K, Moinfar F, Pirich C, Langsteger W, Bytyqi A, Karanikas G, Mayerhöfer M, Koperek O, Niederle B, Hartenbach M et al. (2016)
32nd International Austrian Winter Symposium : Zell am See, the Netherlands. 20-23 January 2016
EJNMMI Res, 6 (Suppl 1), 32
DOI 10.1186/s13550-016-0168-9, PubMed 27090254

Publications 2015

Seršen S, Kljun J, Kryeziu K, Panchuk R, Alte B, Körner W, Heffeter P, Berger W, Turel I (2015)
Structure-Related Mode-of-Action Differences of Anticancer Organoruthenium Complexes with β-Diketonates
J Med Chem, 58 (9), 3984-96
DOI 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00288, PubMed 25856666

Publications 2014

Karnthaler-Benbakka C, Groza D, Kryeziu K, Pichler V, Roller A, Berger W, Heffeter P, Kowol CR (2014)
Tumor-targeting of EGFR inhibitors by hypoxia-mediated activation
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 53 (47), 12930-12935
DOI 10.1002/anie.201403936, PubMed 25079700

Wilfert S, Iturmendi A, Schoefberger W, Kryeziu K, Heffeter P, Berger W, Brüggemann O, Teasdale I (2014)
Water-Soluble, Biocompatible Polyphosphazenes with Controllable and pH-Promoted Degradation Behavior
J Polym Sci A Polym Chem, 52 (2), 287-294
DOI 10.1002/pola.27002, PubMed 24729657

Publications 2013

Fischer B, Heffeter P, Kryeziu K, Gille L, Meier SM, Berger W, Kowol CR, Keppler BK (2013)
Poly(lactic acid) nanoparticles of the lead anticancer ruthenium compound KP1019 and its surfactant-mediated activation
Dalton Trans, 43 (3), 1096-104
DOI 10.1039/c3dt52388h, PubMed 24165902

Heffeter P, Atil B, Kryeziu K, Groza D, Koellensperger G, Körner W, Jungwirth U, Mohr T, Keppler BK, Berger W (2013)
The ruthenium compound KP1339 potentiates the anticancer activity of sorafenib in vitro and in vivo
Eur J Cancer, 49 (15), 3366-75
DOI 10.1016/j.ejca.2013.05.018, PubMed 23790465

Kryeziu K, Jungwirth U, Hoda MA, Ferk F, Knasmüller S, Karnthaler-Benbakka C, Kowol CR, Berger W, Heffeter P (2013)
Synergistic anticancer activity of arsenic trioxide with erlotinib is based on inhibition of EGFR-mediated DNA double-strand break repair
Mol Cancer Ther, 12 (6), 1073-84
DOI 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0065, PubMed 23548265

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