Translational studies with a special focus on lung cancer

Åslaug Helland


The outcome of lung cancer is worse than most other cancers. Early diagnosis is imperative for improving prognosis. There is therefore a desperate need for improved diagnostics and better treatment in these cancers. Research aiming at understanding and detecting cancer development and metastatic dissemination at an earlier stage might have a great impact on overall survival for this large group of patients.

This study will shed light on the biology underlying the clinical differences in prognosis, by using recently developed technology and material from more than 700 lung cancer patients in different clinical stages, and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as controls. Identification of blood-borne markers of lung cancer disease, and increasing the knowledge about the inherent malignant potential in each tumour, is a prerequisite for more personalised treatment.

This is a prospective observational study involving lung cancer patients in different stages and controls with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


  • Early detection: Identify RNA / MiRNA expression profiles in blood different between patients with COPD and lung cancer (Blood samples from pts with COPD, lung cancer patients in different stages)
  • Signatures of micrometastatic disease: Identify genetic profiles in primary tumour, lymph nodes and in blood samples associated with progression / metastatic disease (comparing operated patients with and without relapse)
  • Increase understanding: Identify pathway-characteristics (modules) in tumours which have metastasised
  • Putative targets for therapy: Identify integrated molecular characteristics (proteins, DNA characteristics, RNA expression patterns) involved in progression
  • Validate clinical importance: To validate these data by using different approaches, including comparing these with results from pre-clinical cell culture models.