On the 21st of April, the 4x-great-grandchild of Frederik Holst - the first who defended a doctoral thesis in Norway, University of Christiania - Christian Holst Bergsland defended his thesis “Fluorescence-based multiplex immunohistochemistry in precision medicine of colorectal cancer” for the PhD degree at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.
He received excellent assessment from the committee, both in the written report and during the defense. The first and second opponents were Professors Manuel Salto-Tellez, Institute for Cancer Research, London and Lars Akslen, University of Bergen. Professor Anne Hansen Ree was the chair of the evaluation committee.
Christian has used multiplex immunohistochemistry followed by digital analyses of proteins expressed both in the malignant epithelial cells and in the tumor microenvironment of colorectal cancers. He used several markers in a comprehensive methodological study to compare the new technology with chromogenic standard immunohistochemistry, a necessity to understand the advantages but also the limitations of the new technology. Christian then validated RCC2, regulator of chromosome condensation 2, as a marker of good prognosis but also showed its predictive value for response to chemotherapy in stage III colorectal cancer patients from Norway and Oxford (n>2900).
In the third paper, published 28thApril in Modern Pathology he resolved the puzzle of good or bad prognostic impact of regulatory T-cells in CRC; he found by spatial marker analyses that ~20% of the patients have adverse prognosis when significant proximity between Tregs and CD8 positive cells was shown in their tumor.
The principal supervisor was Professor Ragnhild A. Lothe and the co-supervisor was Dr. Jarle Bruun.
Christian continues as a post doc to develop an in situ proteomics based colorectal cancer subtyping framework for precision oncology.