Institute for Cancer Research


Institute for Cancer Research has since its foundation in 1954 played a central role within the field of cancer research both in Norway and internationally. The Institute has seven research departments and more than 320 employees, master students included. About 70% of the employees and projects are externally funded. Read more

Kjetil TaskénInstitute Head
Kjetil Taskén
Institute Head

Scientific production - Institute for Cancer Research

 PublicationsDoctoral theses
2018 so far 
 2016228 15

Annual report 2016 (pdf):
download in single page format - double page (broad) format


Latest news

Popular science dissemination of cancer genomics


Research from the Department of Molecular Oncology has recently been profiled in three popular science articles.

In an interview in Apollon, Rolf Skotheim discusses why some healthy cells turn into cancer cells.

Bjarne Johannessen and Kaja C. G. Berg have written about colorectal cancer cell lines in the magazine BestPractice. BestPractice is a Norwegian medical journal which focuses on oncology and hematology.

In the same journal, Anita Sveen has written about tumor heterogeneity in metastatic colorectal cancer.


Preclinical drug screening identifies novel stratified treatment options according to the consensus molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer

From left: Anita Sveen, Jarle Bruun and Peter W. Eide.
From left: Anita Sveen, Jarle Bruun and Peter W. Eide.

In two recent publications (Eide PW et al. Sci Rep; Sveen A*, Bruun J* et al. Clin Cancer Res), scientists in the Lothe lab., Department of Molecular Oncology, have identified novel potential treatment strategies for colorectal cancer (CRC), guided by the consensus molecular subtypes (CMS). Combining algorithm development, for translation of CMS classification to preclinical models, with drug screening of classified cell lines and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) in collaboration with the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine and Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology, a potential to overcome chemoresistance in the poor prognostic CMS4-mesenchymal group was identified by combination therapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and HSP90 inhibitors.


The discovery of TIGIT as a potential new target for immune checkpoint blockade is published in Clinical Cancer Research.

From left: Kanutte Huse, Sarah Josefsson and June Myklebust
From left: Kanutte Huse, Sarah Josefsson and June Myklebust

Biological advances have resulted in immunotherapeutic regimens that target co-inhibitory receptors such as PD-1 to reverse T-cell exhaustion and promote anti-tumor responses that eradicate human tumors. However, despite its success in many cancer types, a substantial number of patients do not respond to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade. This includes patients with the B-cell malignancy follicular lymphoma, suggesting that co-blockade of co-inhibitory receptors may be necessary to achieve optimal anti-tumor T-cell responses.
In a study recently published in Clinical Cancer Research (journal impact factor 9.6), the authors demonstrate the power of using high dimensional flow cytometry analysis of follicular lymphoma tumors to identify new targets for checkpoint blockade.


Oslo University Hospital has awarded 6 excellent articles for the first half-year of 2017

Award winners during the ceremony (photo Pål Bakke)
Award winners during the ceremony (photo Pål Bakke)

Six research groups were awarded for their excellent papers published during the first half-year of 2017 during a ceremony on December 16th. Each group received NOK 50.000 for use in further research. The prize winners gave short presentations of the main findings in their respective articles.

The six selected articles are of especially high quality, and they present important finding on both-short and long-term scales. The works reflect the good quality and the interdisciplinarity that characterises several research environments at Oslo University Hospital. The research is a fundamental condition for the institution to maintain and strenghten the quality in the patient treatment.


Alicia Llorente participates in an ERA-NET funded project

Alicie Llorente
Alicie Llorente

Alicia Llorente, project group leader at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology in the research group headed by Kirsten Sandvig, has recently received a grant to participate in a project funded by the Horizon2020 action ERA-NET TRANSCAN-2. TRANSCAN-2 is a collaborative network of ministries, funding agencies and research councils that aims to align national/regional translational cancer research programmes.
Both The Norwegian Research Council and The Norwegian Cancer Society participate in TRANSCAN-2. The project is funded by the Third Joint Transnational Call (JTC 2016) dedicated to "Minimally and non-invasive methods for early detection and/or progression of cancer". A total of 14 projects were funded under this call, and three of them have Norwegian participants.


Update: Nature Cell Biology paper draws attention:

Rusten group uncovers new regulatory mechanism of the Peutz-Jeghers cancer syndrome kinase, LKB1

Team at Centre for Cancer Biomedicine behind the study
Team at Centre for Cancer Biomedicine behind the study

Structural breakdown of epithelial architecture is a cardinal hallmark of carcinomas - the most common forms of cancer.
Our cells contain tumor suppressor genes that act as gate-keepers to prevent tumor growth. One such classical tumor suppressor, Liver Kinase B1 (LKB1), was identified as being responsible for the hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. It has later been shown to be mutated in other cancer types, such as lung cancer.
Reporting in the prestigeous journal Nature Cell Biology (IF 20,6), O´Farrell and colleagues now reports that intracellular endocytic trafficking of LKB1 is essential to curtail Lkb1 activity from going rogue. In a surprising twist, they show that LKB1 can act to promote carcinogenesis, a role normally possessed by oncogenes.

Update: PNAS has published a commentary article about the findings in their "Journal Club" section, where recently published papers selected by Academy members are highlighted.