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Group Ola Nilsson

Research group
Active research
Project owner
The Institute of Clinical Sciences

Short description

Research on the pathology and treatment of neuroendocrine tumours.

Research summary

In our research group we focus on characterizing genetic and molecular alterations in neuroendocrine tumors (NET) with an overall aim to understand NET tumorigenesis and improve patient care. NETs originate from hormone-secreting neuroendocrine cells and often exhibit a highly differentiated and indolent phenotype but readily metastasize.

Compared to more common carcinomas, NETs are often genetically stable with a low frequency of mutations. NET tumors also generally do not respond to traditional oncological treatments such as cytotoxic drugs and external radiation.

By performing profiling studies of DNA copy number alterations, mRNA and miRNA transcriptomes we have been able to divide NETs into clinically relevant subgroups. We also utilize whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing and functional experiments with primary cultured tumor cells to aquire a deeper understanding of NET tumor biology.

Research tools and resources

Our research platform utilizes a translational research model. Tumor tissue and clinical data are collected in cooperation with the department of Endocrine and sarcoma surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Our preclinical laboratory uses techniques such as immunohistochemical analysis, cell cycle analysis, FISH, RT-PCR and sequencing to analyse tumor tissue. To verify new finding and to test new treatment strategies we perform in vitro analyses on patient-derived tumor cells and cell-lines as well as in vivo experiments on a mouse model.

Current group members

Ola Nilsson, MD, PhD, Professor
Yvonne Arvidsson, PhD, Associate Professor
Erik Elias, PhD, Med Dr
Gülay Altiparmak, Biomedical Scientist

The grouped is closely linked to the Department of Endocrine and Sarcoma surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

We are also part of Sahlgrenska Translational Neuroendocrine Cancer Group (SATNEC).

Selected publications

  1. SMAD4 haploinsufficiency in small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors.
    Hofving T, Elias E, Rehammar A, Inge L, Altiparmak G, Persson M, Kristiansson E, Johansson ME, Nilsson O, Arvidsson Y. BMC Cancer. 2021 Jan 28;21(1):101. doi: 10.1186/s12885-021-07786-9. PMID: 33509126


  2. H-STS, L-STS and KRJ-I are not authentic GEPNET cell lines.
    Hofving T, Karlsson J, Nilsson O, Nilsson JA. Nat Genet. 2019 Oct;51(10):1426-1427. doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0490-z. PubMed PMID: 31548718.
  3. 177Lu-octreotate therapy for neuroendocrine tumours is enhanced by Hsp90 inhibition.
    Hofving T, Sandblom V, Arvidsson Y, Shubbar E, Altiparmak G, Swanpalmer J, Almobarak B, Elf AK, Johanson V, Elias E, Kristiansson E, Forssell-Aronsson E, Nilsson O Endocr Relat Cancer. 2019 Apr 1;26(4):437-449. doi: 10.1530/ERC-18-0509. Epub 2019 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 30730850; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6391910.
  4. miRNA profiling of small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors defines novel molecular subtypes and identifies miR-375 as
    a biomarker of patient survival.

    Arvidsson Y, Rehammar A, Bergström A, Andersson E, Altiparmak G, Swärd C, Wängberg B, Kristiansson E, Nilsson O.  Mod Pathol. 2018 Aug;31(8):1302-1317. doi: 10.1038/s41379-018-0010-1. Epub 2018 Feb 27. PubMed PMID: 29487354.
  5. The neuroendocrine phenotype, genomic profile and therapeutic sensitivity of GEPNET cell lines.
    Hofving T, Arvidsson Y, Almobarak B, Inge L, Pfragner R, Persson M, Stenman G, Kristiansson E, Johanson V, Nilsson O.  Endocr Relat Cancer. 2018 Mar;25(3):367-380. doi: 10.1530/ERC-17-0445.
  6. NAMPT Inhibitor GMX1778 Enhances the Efficacy of 177Lu-DOTATATE Treatment of Neuroendocrine Tumors.
    Elf AK, Bernhardt P, Hofving T, Arvidsson Y, Forssell-Aronsson E, Wängberg B, Nilsson O, Johanson V.  J Nucl Med. 2017
    Feb;58(2):288-292. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.116.177584. Epub 2016 Sep 29. PubMed PMID: 27688470.
  7. Expression profiling of small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors identifies subgroups with clinical relevance, prognostic markers and therapeutic targets.
    Andersson E, Arvidsson Y, Swärd C, Hofving T, Wängberg B, Kristiansson E, Nilsson OMod Pathol. 2016 Jun;29(6):616-29. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2016.48. Epub 2016 Mar 11. PubMed PMID: 26965582.
  8. Cytotoxic Effects of Valproic Acid on Neuroendocrine Tumour Cells.
    Arvidsson Y, Johanson V, Pfragner R, Wängberg B, Nilsson O.  Neuroendocrinology. 2016;103(5):578-91. doi: 10.1159/000441849. Epub 2015 Oct 28. PubMed PMID: 26505883.
  9. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) express somatostatin receptors and bind radiolabeled somatostatin analogs.
    Arne G, Nilsson B, Dalmo J, Kristiansson E, Arvidsson Y, Forssell-Aronsson E, Nilsson O, Ahlman H. Acta Oncol. 2013
    May;52(4):783-92. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2012.733075. Epub 2012 Nov 1. PubMed PMID: 23116418.
  10. Profiling of ileal carcinoids.
    Nilsson ONeuroendocrinology. 2013;97(1):7-18. doi: 10.1159/000343232. Epub 2012 Nov 2. Review. PubMed PMID: 22986706.

More group Ola Nilsson publications on PubMed

Ola Nilsson
Photo: Emelie Asplund

Contact information

Ola Nilsson

E-mail: Ola Nilsson
Phone: +46 (0)31 342 1000

Visiting address:
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Gula Stråket 8
413 45 Gothenburg


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