Background and activities

Appointments and research interests

My current appointments are Consultant oncologist at the Cancer Clinic, Levanger Hospital, post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, NTNU and Associate Professor at the Aalborg University Hospital. I am the Principal Investigator of the Cancer-Biomarkers in HUNT (see link).

My main research interests have been a combination of clinical and basic cancer research (translational), including biomarkers for early detection of cancer, predictive and prognostic biomarkers, genome-wide analysis and mechanisms of treatment resistance.


The research has been focused on mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, but recently also lung and gastric cancer. I have published papers on biomarkers in serum and tissue of mesothelioma and gastric cancer in international peer-reviewed journals as Lung Cancer, PlosOne, Clinical Cancer Research and Gut. Specifically in mesothelioma my research experience includes clinical research where I initiated and completed studies on early detection of mesothelioma in pre-clinical serum in collaboration with the Cancer Registry and the Janus Biobank, with a fruitful collaboration with prof. Jeanette Creaney at the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. At our research department I conducted three gene expression studies at the FUGE (Functional Genomics) core facility with Affymetrix U133 Plus 2 and Illumina HumanHT-12 v3 Expression BeadChip on human mesothelioma and normal pleural samples.

The recent years a collaborative work on novel bioinformatics methods with bioinformaticians at Vanderbilt-USA/University of Crete-Greece has resulted in exciting results and new publications.  

Since November 2010 a new collaboration with Nanjing Medical University, China was initiated on mesothelioma, lung and gastric cancer. Current work in progress includes:

1) prospective collection of high quality biological material of lung cancer and mesothelioma to do high-throughput analyses such as microRNA and mRNA expression to identify novel biomarkers with clinical relevance.

2) cell-line experiments on mesothelioma, lung and gastric cancer on improving the effect of cisplatin by inhibition of homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and analyse DNA repair, gene and protein expression before and after treatment.

The HUNT biobank in Levanger, Norway, is one of the largest biobanks in Scandinavia with serum and clinical data from approximately 78 000 subjects. Since May 2011 a collaboration with the HUNT was initiated, aiming at tumour-specific microRNA discovery in pre-diagnostic serum. The Cancer-Biomarkers in HUNT Project aims at discovery of biomarkers in serum for detection of lung cancer and mesothelioma in an early stage.

Since 2013 a professional appointment and collaboration with the Aalborg University Hospital was initiated. Aalborg, the major and capital city in the Northern Jutland Region has hosted the only asbestos factory (Eternit) in Denmark and processed 80% of all asbestos imported to Denmark. The long term effects of the asbestos use is that the age-standardised incidence rate for men with mesothelioma in the Region of Northern Jutland in 2008-2009 is approximately 3-fold higher than in the other four Danish RegionsCurrently I hold a 20% position as Assistant Professor at the Department of Oncology in Aalborg, and heading a multidisciplinary group formed to do mesothelioma research.

Funding has been granted from the Norwegian Research Council by 310 000 NoK in 2012 and Liaison Committee between the Central Norway Regional Health Authority (RHA) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) with 5,7 mill. NoK in 2014.

In 2015 our research on early detection for lung cancer received 300 000 Nok from the Levanger Hospital and in 2016 300 000 USD from IASLC- International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (see link).