One of the biggest problems in cancer today is that we do not know who will benefit from a particular drug. Since only about half the patients who receive a typical anti-cancer drug benefit and the others just suffer side effects, knowing whether or not a patient's tumor is responding to a drug can bring us one step closer to truly personalized medicine – tailoring therapies to the patients who will benefit and not wasting time and resources on treatments that will be ineffective. Promising new anti-cancer treatments including angiogenic inhibitors and immunotherapy have made traditional diagnostic biomarkers insufficient because the cytostatic rather than cytotoxic nature of these therapies do no longer result in a simple reduction in tumor size. Moreover, following these therapies, the changes in tumor size do no longer correlate with survival and there is a critical need for new accurate biomarkers to assess the response to anti-cancer therapy.
The goal of the research group is to find predictive and prognostic MRI-based (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) biomarkers for better identification of judicious, patient-specific treatments and by this define how best to move the field of cancer therapy forward. The main focus of the research group is the development and implementation of advanced MRI techniques that uncover new, functional information of the disease during repeated monitoring. This includes perfusion, diffusion and changes in vascular and morphologic structure.
Active externally funded projects
European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant 758657 (2018-2022) ImPRESS - Imaging Perfusion Restrictions from Extracellular Solid Stress
The Research Council of Norway FRIPRO Young Researcher Grant 261984 (2017-2021) FORCE - Functional imaging Of vascular Restrictions in CancEr
South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority Extended Career Grant 2017073 (2017-2021) FORCE - Functional imaging Of vascular Restrictions in CancEr
South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority Grant 2016102 (2016-2019) TREATMENT - Improved Therapy Response Assessment in Metastatic Brain Tumors
The Norwegian Cancer Society Grant 6817564 (2016-2019) TREATMENT - Improved Therapy Response Assessment in Metastatic Brain Tumors
South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority Career Grant 2013069 (2013-2017) LOOPS – Mapping the Vessel Architecture of Cancer
Major international collaborations:
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA
University Medical Center in Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands