2023 – Experimental diagnostics enters the clinic

The EVIDENT trial (ex vivo drug sensitivity testing in metastatic colorectal cancer) is in its second year of patient inclusion. More than fifty patients have been included for pre-screening of tumor organoids cultured from multiple metastatic lesions from each patient.  The pre-screen is performed in our lab and includes testing of a custom drug library, sequencing of all known predictive mutations, and analyses of expression markers by RNA sequencing and in situ fluorescence-based immunohistochemistry. Two patients have started experimental treatment in the trial. Transfer of protocols for experimental diagnostics and functional oncology to the InPred national infrastructure for precision diagnostics is planned, with support from The South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.

We established quality-controlled protocols for liquid biopsy analyses of DNA methylation biomarkers. Patient inclusion was completed for the bladder cancer monitoring trial (n=600 patients). All patients will be followed-up for two years by standard cystoscopies and collection of urine samples (n=7000) for the BladMetrix methylation biomarker test. Discussions for licensing of the test to a European biotech company are ongoing.

Our methylation biomarker test for detection of cholangiocarcinoma from bile samples showed robust results (Vedeld et al., Lind, Hepatology 2022), and the test has been implemented in the clinic for selected prospective patients admitted to the PSC centre at Rikshospitalet.

Selected scientific achievements

We published a long-term project of the rare cancer type malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in the Lancet Discovery Science journal eBioMed (Høland et al.). This European multicenter study showed that approximately half of all these tumors belong to an "immune deficient" transcriptomic subtype associated with an aggressive disease course. Other markers of this subtype, including loss of the polycomb repressive complex PRC2 and expression of several potential therapeutic targets, provide a rationale for molecularly-guided intervention trials.

Two of our innovation projects reached their expected milestones for 2023: BladMetrix (Lind) and ProClass (Skotheim).

Five Department members defended their academic degrees at the University of Oslo. MSc Seyed Hossein Moosavi, MD Mari Bogaard and MD Tobias Hauge defended their PhDs at the Institute for Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine. Two MSc degrees were defended at the Department of Biosciences and Department of Informatics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Honors and support

  • Kryeziu received the “Early Career Award” from Oslo University Hospital.
  • Lothe was member of the organizing committee of the EACR-OECI Molecular Pathology Approach to Cancer, Bergamo, Italy.
  • Department members were invited speakers at eight international conferences including the EACR-OECI Molecular Pathology Approach to Cancer (Bergamo, ITA), Nordic Precision Cancer Medicine Symposium (Oslo), NextGen Omics (Oxford, UK), Danish Comprehensive Cancer Centre (Odense, DEN), and key note speaker at International Colloquium on Gap Junctions and Cancer (Sao Paulo, BRA).
  • Research grants from the Norwegian Cancer Society (Prof RI Skotheim) and the South Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (Prof GE Lind, Dr K Kryeziu).
 
Feb 21, 2024 Page visits: 123