Group Karin Sundfeldt

Research group
Active research
Project owner
The Institute of Clinical Sciences

Short description

Research on biomarkers and early detection of ovarian and endometrial cancer.

Research summary

We specialize in the biology of epithelial ovarian cancer (OC) and our goal is to minimize deaths by detecting OC in curable stages. To accomplish this, we search for new biomarkers for screening and early detection of OC. We have performed several studies with discovery of potential single biomarkers and panels of biomarkers. Blood, ovarian cyst-fluid, cervical and endometrial liquid biopsies is used for discovery and validation studies.

The human ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) is a single layer of simple flat to cuboidal cells that cover the surface of the cortical stroma. It is widely accepted that ovarian tumorigenesis, as other cancers, is triggered by the accumulation of genetic alterations in epithelial cells. But the hypothesis of OSE as the cell of origin is currently challenged byt the findings that the most common subtype high grade serous cancer (HGSC) originate in the fimbria of the fallopian tube.

Transformation of normal cells into cancer cells is influenced by the ovarian microenvironment and inflammation. In particular we are interested in preneoplastic changes in the fallopian tube, in women with the chronic inflammatory disease endometriosis and cervical sampling from the screening program.

Current studies in the group and within several collaborative efforts focus on:

  1. exploring new diagnostic tools for early detection or screening for gynecologic cancer.
  2. validate promising findings in larger cohorts.
  3. define biomarkers for each subtype of OC for better differential diagnostics and treatment decision.
  4. NK-cell based immunotherapy for ovarian cancer.
  5. define women at risk for OC eligible for prophylactic surgery – large national register randomized clinical trial.

Research tools and resources

  • Prospective continuous sampling and meticulous keeping of the Sahlgrenska Gynecology Cancer Biobank.
  • Different protein-based approaches, mass spectrometry, proximity extension assay (OLINK-platforms), antibody arrays, glycomics and nanopartical-aided glycovariant assays.
  • RNAseq, exom-seq both from liquid biopsies and whole tissue, macro or micro dissected by laser beam technique.
  • Ultra-sensitive analyze of rare mutations, 0,1% (Safe-SeqS or SimSenSeq).
  • Cell culture, protein and RNA expression analysis.
  • Flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and tissue micro arrays (TMA).

Current group members

Karin Sundfeldt, MD, PhD, Professor, Consultant Ob&Gyn
Björg Kristjansdottir, MD, PhD, Consultant tumor surgery, Ob&Gyn
Claudia Mateoiu, MD PhD, Specialist gynecologic pathology
Benjamin Ulfenborg, PhD, Bio-statistician
Anna Linder, PhD, Postdoc
Elin Bernson, PhD, Postdoc
Peter Micallef, PhD, Postdoc
Birgitta Weijdegård, Biomedical Scientist
Sara Schumacher, Associate Researcher
Veronika Karlsson, Project Assistent
Amanda Olsson Widjaja, PhD student
Maria Lycke, MD, PhD student
Mattias Pålsson, MD, PhD student
Carina Iloson, MD, PhD student
Jacob Lauesgaard, MD, PhD student
Anna Lindfors, PhD-student (associated)
Anna Darelius, PhD-student (associated)

Selected publications

  1. High throughput proteomics identifies a high-accuracy 11 plasma protein biomarker signature for ovarian cancer.
    Enroth S, Berggrund M, Lycke M, Broberg J, Lundberg M, Assarsson E, Olovsson M, Stålberg K, Sundfeldt K, Gyllensten U. Communications Biology (Nature group). 2019 June 20;2:221. eCollection 2019.
  2. Hysterectomy and opportunistic salpingectomy (HOPPSA): study protocol for a register-based randomized controlled trial.
    Idahl A, Darelius A, Sundfeldt K, Pålsson M, Strandell A. Trials. 2019 Jan 5;20(1):10. IF: 2.0.
  3. A combination of the immunohistochemical markers CK7 and SATB2 is highly sensitive and specific for distinguishing primary ovarian mucinous tumors from colorectal and appendiceal metastases.
    Meager NS, Wang L, Rambau PF… Sundfeldt K (25/47),… Cohen P, Ramus SJ, Köbel M. Modern Pathology. 2019 Jun 25. Epub ahead of print. IF:6.4.
  4. Univariate and classification analysis reveals potential diagnostic biomarkers for early stage ovarian cancer Type 1 and Type 2.
    Marcišauskas S, Ulfenborg B, Kristjansdottir B, Waldemarson S, Sundfeldt K. J Proteomics. 2019 Jan 30;196:57-68 IF: 3.9.
  5. A two-step strategy for identification of plasma protein biomarkers for endometrial and ovarian cancer.
    Enroth S, Berggrund M, Lycke M, Lundberg M, Assarsson E, Stålberg K, Olovsson M, Sundfeldt K*, Gyllensten U*. *Shared authorship. Clin Proteomics, 2018 Dec 1;15:38. IF: 3.3.
  6. A multicenter clinical trial validating the performance of HE4, CA125, risk of ovarian malignancy algorithm and risk of malignancy Index.
    Lycke M, Kristjansdottir B, Sundfeldt K. Gynecol Oncol. 2018 Oct;151(1):159-165 IF 5.0.
  7. Evaluation of liquid from the Papanicolaou test and other liquid biopsies for the detection of endometrial and ovarian cancers.
    Wang Y, Li L, Douville C, Cohen JD, Yen TT Kinde I, Sundfelt K, Kjær SK, Hruban RH, Shih IM,Wang TL, Kurman RJ, Springer S, Ptak J, Popoli M, Schaefer J, Silliman N, Dobbyn L, Tanner EJ, Angarita A, Lycke M, Jochumsen K, Afsari B, Danilova L, Levine DA, Jardon K, Zeng X, Arseneau J, Fu L, Diaz LA Jr, Karchin R, Tomasetti C, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Fader AN, Gilbert L, Papadopoulos N. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Mar 21;10(433). IF: 22.1.
  8. Diagnostic potential of tumor DNA from ovarian cyst fluid.
    Wang Y*, Sundfeldt K*, Mateoiu C, Shih leM, Kurman RJ, Schaefer J, Silliman N, Kinde I, Springer S, Foote M, Kristjansdottir B, James N, Kinzler KW, Papdopoulos N, Dias LA, Vogelstein B. elife. 2016 Jul 15;5. *Shared first authorship. IF: 7.7.
  9. TGF-β isoforms induce EMT independent migration of ovarian cancer cells.
    Gao J, Zhu Y, Nilsson M, Sundfeldt K. Cancer Cell Int. 2014 Sep 9;14(1):72. IF: 2.7.
  10. Ovarian cyst fluid is a rich proteome resource for detection of new tumor biomarkers.
    Kristjansdottir B, Partheen K, Fung ET, Yip C, Yip T-T, Brännström M, Sundfeldt K. Clin Proteomics, 2012 Dec 27; 9(1):14. IF: 3.3.
  11. Phenotypic plasticity of the ovarian surface epithelium: TGF-beta1 induction of epithelial to mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in vitro.
    Zhu Y, Nilsson M, Sundfeldt K.  Endocrinology. 2010 Nov; 151(11):5497-5505.. Including an editorial by Brown and Shathasivam in the same issue of Endocrinology “Maintaining mesenchymal properties of ovarian surface epithelial cells: A potential early protecitive role for TGF-beta in ovarian carcinogenesis. IF: 4.9

More group Karin Sundfeldt publications on PubMed

Karin Sundfeldt
Photo: Cecilia Hedström

Contact information

Karin Sundfeldt

E-mail: Karin Sundfeldt
Phone: +46 (0)31 342 2145

Visiting address:
Sahlgrenska University Hospital


Group Karin Sundfeldt and its research is affiliated to Sahlgrenska Center for Cancer Research and the Institute of Clinical Sciences.