Published: 13-11-2020 15:10 | Updated: 13-11-2020 15:13

KI receives SEK 290 million from Cancer Society

Portrait of professor Fang Fang in the lab.
Fang Fang, professor, IMM. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have been awarded a grant of SEK 290 million from the Swedish Cancer Society, meaning that over one third of the total grant of SEK 709 million, divided amongst eleven universities, is going to cancer research at KI. Two of the recipients are associate professor Mattias Rantalainen and Professor Fang Fang.

Researcher from MEB named Mattias Rantalainen
Mattias Rantalainen. Photo: Mattias Rantalainen

Mattias Rantalainen, associate professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is leading a research project to develop AI-based cancer diagnostics, and is to receive SEK 3 million over three years from the Swedish Cancer Society. To diagnose cancer, doctors need to take tissue samples from the patient, which are then sent to a pathologist for microscope analysis. In the future, AI will be able to help analyse the microscope images.  

“This will lead to safer diagnoses and greater access to high-quality cancer diagnostics,” says Dr Rantalainen. “AI has the potential to be a valuable decision aid to doctors and can resolve several bottlenecks in current cancer diagnostics.” 

Fang Fang, professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine is to receive SEK 3.75 million divided over three years.  Professor Fang’s research project examines if women with mental health issues run a higher risk of developing cervical cancer than other women. The project will look at whether mental ill-health can be linked to lower participation in vaccination and screening programmes and is relevant to the treatment and mortality of the disease.

“We’ll be studying whether morbidity and mortality of this otherwise avoidable cancer is higher these women,” says Professor Fang, who will be leading the research. “If this is the case, special initiatives could be taken to reach them in order to raise awareness amongst them and their doctors and increase their participation in preventive measures.”

Project grants

KI  received 83 grants for projects, two of which were for the maximum possible sum:

Extended grants

Extended grants for major research investments:

See the full list of grants for further details of the remaining sums granted within projects, monthly researcherships, planning groups.

Selected from a competitive field

When selecting recipients, the Swedish Cancer Society has all research projects compete regardless of cancer and research method. The society’s scientific board then judges which projects have the best chance of delivering results, and the grants are distributed to those that are most likely to make a valuable contribution to the fight against cancer. The grants, which are being awarded in November, together constitute the Swedish Cancer Society’s largest ever investment in research.