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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have linked resistance to treatment for a deadly form of kidney cancer to low mitochondrial content in the cell. When the researchers increased the mitochondrial content with an inhibitor, the cancer cells responded to the treatment. Their findings, which are published in Nature Metabolism, offer hope for more targeted cancer drugs.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and SciLifeLab describe in a study published in Science how they have improved the ability of a protein to repair oxidative DNA damage and created a new protein function. Their innovative technique can lead to improved drugs for diseases involving oxidative stress, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and lung diseases, but the researchers believe it has even greater potential.
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Using advanced microscopy techniques, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University have visualized in unprecedented detail the machinery that the cells’ powerhouses, the mitochondria, use to form their proteins. The results, which are published in Nature, raise hopes of more specific antibiotics and new cancer drugs in the future.
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A new study, published in Science, shows how self-inflicted DNA damage uniquely enables tumor cells to endure the genotoxic effects of radiation therapy, allowing them to survive and contribute to tumor reoccurrence. The findings highlight a cancer-specific survival mechanism that could be targeted and used to enhance the tumor cells’ vulnerability to genotoxic cancer treatments.
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A study from Karolinska Institutet and the Nordic cancer registries shows that cancer notification rates declined in the Nordic countries during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in April-May 2020 compared to previous years. In the fall of 2020, the cancer rates recovered in Denmark, Norway and Iceland, yet only partly in Sweden and Finland. In the Faroe Islands, the changes in cancer rates were not statistically significant. The study was published in International Journal of Cancer.
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Almost 500 employees gathered in Aula Medica on 1 April when Karolinska Comprehensive Cancer Centre (Karolinska CCC) celebrated its second anniversary since accreditation by honouring its employees and the collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital.
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Susanne Fridsten at the research group Diagnostic Radiology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "Carcinoma of the uterine cervix: aspects on preoperative staging and assessment of treatment effect using magnetic resonance imaging" on April 21, 2022. Main Supervisor is Lennart Blomqvist.
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Cecilia Haddad Ringborg at the research group Surgical Care Science, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "The perspective of being a family caregiver of a patient treated for oesophageal cancer : problems and needs" on April 1, 2022. Main Supervisor is Pernilla Lagergren.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have identified a protein that protects against breast tumour growth and that can be linked to a better prognosis in breast cancer patients. The results, which are published in the journal Nature Communications, may contribute to the development of new therapies for difficult-to-treat forms of breast cancer.
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The causes of complex diseases can be identified by representing them in the form of mathematically produced networks. This method was used to find bacteria that drive atopic dermatitis, for example.
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The p53 protein protects our cells from cancer and is an interesting target for cancer treatments. The problem is, however, that it breaks down rapidly in the cell. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now found an unusual way of stabilising the protein and making it more potent. By adding a spider silk protein to p53, they show that it is possible to create a protein that is more stable and capable of killing cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Structure.
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Fatigue, or severe tiredness and exhaustion, is a distressing condition for many patients with advanced cancer. Unfortunately, good pharmacological treatment options are limited, and the ones available come with a risk of side effects and/or habituation.
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When she was 14 years old Jessica Strid was treated for cancer and was told that it would be difficult for her to get pregnant. Today she has two children. ”I am very grateful”, she says.
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Many young people whose fertility have been impaired due to cancer treatment can today be helped to become parents. Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Oncology and Pathology at Karolinska Institutet and Senior Consultant at Karolinska University Hospital, answers six common questions.
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A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows how certain RNA molecules control the repair of damaged DNA in cancer cells, a discovery that could eventually give rise to better cancer treatments. The study is published today in the journal Nature Communications.
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The treatment of serious prodromal cervical cancer, CIN3, can cause problems during later pregnancy amongst women of fertile age. A new registry study from Karolinska Institutet shows a higher risk of several adverse pregnancy outcomes after such treatment, but the risks have declined over time and the increased risk of infant death no longer exists. The study, which included a large number of births in Sweden over a 46-year period, is published in The Annals of Internal Medicine.
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An international team of scientists, including from Karolinska Institutet, has discovered a means of identifying the risk of breast and ovarian cancer by analysing cell samples from the cervix. By measuring epigenetic changes in cervical samples from over a thousand women, the researchers have found two unique signatures for breast and ovarian cancer. The results are presented in two papers in the journal Nature Communications.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Gothenburg have found another piece of the puzzle in the treatment of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. A new case report, published in JCO Precision Oncology, describes the successful targeted treatment of a boy with neuroblastoma and a specific mutation.
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The combination of a novel blood test and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can reduce overdiagnosis of low-risk cancers as well as societal costs in prostate cancer screening, according to a cost-effectiveness study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal European Urology. The results provide support for organised prostate cancer testing in Sweden, researchers say.
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KI researchers have together with international collaborators completed a comprehensive international validation of artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnosing and grading prostate cancer. The study, published in Nature Medicine, shows that AI systems can identify and grade prostate cancer in tissue samples from different countries equally well as pathologists. The results suggest AI systems are ready to be responsibly introduced as a complementary tool in prostate cancer care, researchers say.
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In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have identified the presence of a specific connection between a protein and an lncRNA molecule in liver cancer. By increasing the presence of the lncRNA molecule, the fat depots of the tumor cell decrease, which causes the division of tumor cells to cease, and they eventually die. The study, published in the journal Gut, contributes to increased knowledge that can add to a better diagnosis and future cancer treatments.
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Five researchers from Karolinska Institutet have been awarded grants from the Sjöberg Foundation, in total a sum of SEK 18.1 million. The foundation supports research with a focus on cancer, health and the environment.
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KI researchers Bennie Lemmens and Kirsty Spalding have been granted 2021 ASPIRE Awards from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research for their innovative and bold ideas on cancer research. They are two of a total of 25 award recipients who will jointly receive nearly $9.5 million (SEK 86 million).
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Eleven researchers at five departments at Karolinska Institutet have received funding from Cancer- och Allergifonden (Cancer and Allergy Fund) for their point-of-care research projects on cancer and allergies. The researchers from Karolinska were allocated SEK 2.6 million. In total, the Fund distributed a total of five million SEK to Swedish cancer and allergy research.
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Karin Wallander at the research group Clinical Genetics, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "Hereditary predisposition and prognostic prediction in cancer" on December 17, 2021. Main Supervisor is Emma Tham.
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79 KI researchers have received a total of SEK 254,450,000 in grants from the Swedish Cancer Society. In addition, four Fellowship prevention grants were also awarded to researchers at KI. In total, the Swedish Cancer Society distributed SEK 850 million, which is the largest amount ever.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital have developed a new kind of immunotherapy for leukemia. The results of a study published in Nature Biotechnology show that the therapy kills cancer cells from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The researchers now want to conduct a clinical study and also test the method on other types of cancer.
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By building up expertise around how pain arises, he hopes to help find a future solution to chronic pain. Professor Patrik Ernfors writes about failures, his work with the Nobel Prizes and why you need to be open-minded to make new discoveries.
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Congratulations to all the researchers at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut) who received funding from Cancerfonden 2022-2024. We would also like to highlight their special initiative: Fellowship in cancer research in primary prevention, which was awarded to one of our researchers.
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Bacteria from the digestive system seem to have the potential to cause damage to pancreatic cells, increasing the risk of malignant tumours. Now for the first time, live bacteria from cystic pancreatic lesions that are precursors to pancreatic cancer, have been analysed by researchers at Karolinska Institutet. The study, which is published in Gut Microbes, can lead to prophylactic interventions using local antibiotics.
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The Breast Cancer Association's award 2021 goes to chief physician and KI professor Per Hall. He is recognized for his broad research on how breast cancer can be prevented and detected early with refined and individual methods.
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Analysing all the proteins that exist in a tissue type (the so-called proteome) can provide vital information on the causes of diseases and how they can best be treated. We talk to Janne Lehtiö, professor at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, about proteome-based medicine and what it can contribute to personalised cancer therapy.
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The gold complex auranofin has traditionally been used for treating rheumatism but is also being evaluated as a treatment for certain forms of cancer. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now show that other molecules that inhibit the same biological system have a more specific effect than auranofin and therefore may have greater potential as cancer therapies. The results have been published in the journal Redox Biology.
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A protein that protects cells from DNA damage, p53, is activated during gene editing using the CRISPR technique. Consequently, cells with mutated p53 have a survival advantage, which can cause cancer. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found new links between CRISPR, p53 and other cancer genes that could prevent the accumulation of mutated cells without compromising the gene scissors’ effectiveness. The study, published in Cancer Research, can contribute to tomorrow’s precision medicine.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed an AI-based tool that improves the diagnosis of breast cancer tumours and the ability to predict the risk of recurrence. The greater diagnostic precision can lead to more personalised treatment for the large group of breast cancer patients with intermediate risk tumours. The results are published in the scientific journal Annals of Oncology.
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Eivind Gottlieb-Vedi at the research group Upper GI Surgery, the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend his thesis "Improved surgical treatment of oesophageal cancer" on September 10th, 2021. Main Supervisor is Professor Jesper Lagergren.
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Neuroblastoma is a type of childhood cancer that develops in infants and young children. Whilst it is a relatively rare form of cancer, it is still responsible for approximately 15 percent of all cancer deaths in children. In a new study published today in Nature Communications, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have discovered that low-risk and high-risk neuroblastoma have different cell identities, which can affect the survival rate.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet recently reported that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could reduce overdiagnoses and thereby improve prostate cancer screening. Now, the same research group has published a study in The Lancet Oncology, which shows that the addition of a novel blood test, the Stockholm3 test, can reduce the number of MRIs performed by a third while further preventing the detection of minor, low-risk tumours.
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Patients with vitamin D deficiency who received vitamin D supplements had a reduced need for pain relief and lower levels of fatigue in palliative cancer treatment, a randomized and placebo-controlled study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows. The study is published in the scientific journal Cancers.
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For a cell to grow and divide, it needs to produce new proteins. This also applies to cancer cells. In a new study published in Science Advances, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have investigated the protein eIF4A3 and its role in the growth of cancer cells. The study shows that by blocking or reducing the production of this protein, other processes arise that cause the growth and cell division of cancer cells to cease and eventually die.
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Karolinska Institutet has signed a collaborative agreement with the Hungarian National Institute of Oncology, NIO. The planned collaboration will primarily take place within the framework of Karolinska Comprehensive Cancer Centre together with Karolinska University Hospital.
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Obesity increases the risk of developing cancers of the digestive system and it is the person’s fat mass, rather than size, that is the main obesity-related risk factor for these cancer types, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Karolinska Institutet.
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Most countries have not introduced nationwide prostate-cancer screening, as current methods result in overdiagnoses and excessive and unnecessary biopsies. A new study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which is published in The New England Journal of Medicine, indicates that screening by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and targeted biopsies could potentially cut overdiagnoses by half. The results are presented today at the European Association of Urology Congress.
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With the development of more effective treatment for childhood cancer, fertility preservation efforts have become routine at many centers. At the same time, there have been questions about the risks of relapse when re-transplanting ovarian tissue. Now researchers at Karolinska Institutet report on a woman who is expecting her second child after being treated for leukaemia as a teenager. This study, published in Haematologica, may be of great importance to many young women and their families.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet publish new findings in the journal Cancer Discovery showing how pharmacological activation of the protein p53 boosts the immune response against tumours. The results can be of significance to the development of new combination therapies that will give more cancer patients access to immunotherapy.
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Thanks to many years of translational research, some children with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma may now be cured. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers at among others Karolinska Institutet and University of Gothenburg write that so-called ALK inhibitors should be tried to treat children with high-risk neuroblastoma. That is after an analysis showed that children with mutations in the ALK gene have poorer prognosis.
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By analyzing 4,000 drugs’ ability to affect cells’ capacity to produce proteins, researchers at Karolinska Institutet found that an anticancer therapy currently trialed in human patients works differently than previously thought. As many human diseases have alterations in this process called translation, the new knowledge contributes to a better understanding of how translation is regulated and the biological routes that regulate it. The study is published in PLOS Biology.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have investigated the use of low dose venetoclax, an experimental drug, for the treatment of the heterogeneous cancer disease multiple myeloma in patients who had relapsed on standard therapies. The findings are published in the American Journal of Hematology and provide new hope for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

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A study involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet and University of Gothenburg has found that low levels of a protein called PDGFRb are associated with particularly good results of radiotherapy in women with early-stage breast cancer. The study, which is published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, also suggests that the efficacy of radiotherapy can be improved with drugs that block this protein.
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Cancer of the colon and rectum is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and has in recent years affected growing numbers of young people. In the largest registry study to date, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Harvard University in the USA demonstrate a possible connection between colorectal polyps in close relatives and the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study, which is published in The British Medical Journal, is of potential consequence for screening procedures.
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08-06-2022