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

Harald Stenmark<br>Inst. Head
Harald Stenmark
Inst. Head

Scientific production - Institute for Cancer Research

  Publications Doctoral theses
2017 so far  
 2016 235  15
2015 221 21
2014 174 25

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


Latest news

Paper on novel pathway selected for inclusion in the ‘In This Issue’ section of Journal of Cell Science

Beata Grallert (left) and Christiane Rothe
Beata Grallert (left) and Christiane Rothe

Cell-cycle checkpoints are crucial for the maintenance of genomic integrity. The checkpoint operating in G2 phase of the cell cycle prevents entry into mitosis in the face of DNA damage. In cancer cells checkpoints are often deficient and thus they most likely rely on alternative pathways.
The authors describe a novel pathway for delayed entry into mitosis in response to DNA damage, which does not depend on the classic checkpoint pathways. Instead, the pathway involves selective translation regulation of a key mitotic regulator, cyclin B. This work is the first demonstration of selective translation regulation of a cell-cycle regulator in response to DNA-damage stress and raises the question whether similar pathways also exist in cancer cells with impaired checkpoints.
The findings are selected for the "In this issue" section in "Journal of Cell Science" on Dec 1st.


Professor Kjetil Taskén is presented as new director of the Department of Cancer Research at the Cancer Clinic, Oslo University Hospital

Kjetil Taskén
Kjetil Taskén

Taskén`s current position is Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine Norway – NCMM (merged with the Biotechnology center in 2017). He will begin in his position as Head of Department in January 2018.

Kjetil Taskén is 51 years old (born December 19, 1965), and he is a highly qualified and experienced research leader with very relevant background as head of a large unit for biomedical research (120-180 employees at NCMM).

Taskén is an active researcher who can be credited for a total of 269 publications, and well over 12,000 citations. He also holds an h-index of 59 within both basic research and translational research. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious King Olavs Vs Cancer Research Prize for his work on immunotherapy, a field of expertise that Taskén has been involved in ever since he started his research in 1994. Furthermore, he also leads one of six research groups in the KG Jebsen Center for cancer Immunotherapy (led by Johanna Olweus).


Nature Communications publication:

Pan-cancer analysis of homozygous deletions in primary tumours uncovers rare tumour suppressors

From left: Jiqui Cheng, Hege Russnes, Ole Chr. Lingjærde and Peter Van Loo
From left: Jiqui Cheng, Hege Russnes, Ole Chr. Lingjærde and Peter Van Loo

The authors demonstrate the power of meta-analysis to identify rare somatic variants in cancer, and they identify several copy number alterations of potential importance for tumor development in those affected. The paper contributes to the understanding of the diversity of evolutionary processes in cancer.
The study, published online in Nature Communications on 31 October, is collaboration between OUS, UiO and several international partners. First author Jiqiu Cheng from the Hege Russnes group at the Department of Cancer Genetics at the Institute for Cancer Research. The senior author of the paper is Peter Van Loo at the Francis Crick Institute in UK.


Ceremony Friday November 10th

Ragnar Mørk legacy prize 2017 to June Myklebust

June H. Myklebust
June H. Myklebust

The 2017 "Dr. Ragnar Mørk's legacy prize" went to June Helen Myklebust from Erlend B. Smeland's Lymphomas & Lymphocyte Biology Group at the Department of Cancer Immunology. This award of NOK 200.000 is annually given to scientists affiliated to the Norwegian Radium Hospital who have obtained important results within the field of cancer research.
The ceremony took place on Friday November 10th in the Research Building at Montebello.
June Helen Myklebust gave a lecture about the research activities that has earned her the award.
The article is updated with photos from the ceremony.


Scandic Holmenkollen Park, December 4-6, 2017:

The Norwegian Cancer symposium 2017 on Precision Medicine


We would like to extend an invitation to The Norwegian Cancer symposium 2017 on Precision Medicine
It will take place at Scandic Holmenkollen Park, December 4-6, 2017 in Oslo, Norway.

The meeting gathers leading national and international speakers in the field of precision medicine, and topics include the following:

  • Computational Cancer Genomics
  • Tumor Immunology and the microenvironment
  • Single cell analysis for disease trajectories and Liquid Biopsies
  • Monitoring cancer genetics in body fluids
  • Translational and clinical genomics

There are still some few seats available.
Registration will close at Sunday November 19.


Nature Communications publication:

A study of the epigenetics of breast cancer provides clues to mechanisms behind subtypes of the disease

Photo: Daniel Nebdal.<br>
(image capiton under
Photo: Daniel Nebdal.
(image capiton under "More")

Thomas Fleischer and Xavier Tekpli from the Cancer Genome Variation group,  lead by Vessela Kristensen at the Department of Cancer Genetics, IKF, together with their collaborators from the NCMM, Toni Hurtado and Anthony Mathelier, and Professor Arnoldo Frigessi from UiO identified methylated regions (CpGs) that show remarkably and reproducibly conserved patterns of association to gene expression in the DNA from breast tumors in three independent breast cancer cohorts. These patterns result in two main signatures (clusters), one reflecting infiltrating immune cell signatures and another related to estrogen receptor signalling. These results indicate that, in at least some forms of cancer, aberrant DNA methylation occurs not as chaotic stochastic process but is precisely regulated. 
The results were published online in Nature Communications November 9th .