Karin Welen


Department of Urology
+46 31-41 32 90
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 1F
41390 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Su sahlgrenska
41345 Göteborg

About Karin Welen

The research project run by Karin Welén focuses on metastasized prostate cancer, the late stage of the disease responsible for its high mortality. The project has two parts where one aims to develop of biomarkers for identification of the patients with most benefit from specific therapeutic options, and the other to increase knowledge about the process whereby prostate cancer cells establish metastases in the skeleton.

Circulating tumor cells T The biomarker part of the project is based on the hypothesis that the cancer cells that spread to the blood, so called circulating tumor cells (CTCs), display properties reflecting those present in the metastases that need to be targeted. By isolating and analyzing CTCs it may be possible to identify the therapy with the highest potential to treat the individual patient.

Tumor cells in the skeleton To be able to develop more efficient therapies, and eventually inhibit metastasis, the details of the process by which the cancer cells establish and thrive at the metastatic site, and how that process is regulated must be elucidated. By in vitro- and in vivo studies, the research group studies how prostate cancer cells interact with different types of bone cells, and especially how androgen signaling and therapeutic androgen ablation influence the resulting metastases. The results from the experimental studies are verified in blood and tissue samples from patients.

SPRINTR ( is a national project with the aim to increase survival in prostate cancer. By evaluating and optimizing biomarkers for alternative therapeutic options, SPRINTR aims to increase treatment efficacy for men with non-metastatic prostate cancer, thereby prevent development of metastases and lethal disease. A second aim with SPRINTR is to facilitate for prostate cancer research in Sweden. Integration of biomarker profiling and patient recruitment in the diagnostic workflow together with automated clinical follow-up through Swedish registers will create a continuously growing high-quality research database as a base for patient invitation to a platform trial with multiple biomarker-driven randomized clinical trial arms for patients with non-metastatic high risk prostate cancer.