Dr. Straume has a background in medical oncology with special interest in cutaneous melanoma, renal cancer, and breast cancer.
His CCBIO related research activity focuses on three main projects:
Predictive markers of anti-angiogenic treatment in malignant melanoma
Cutaneous melanoma is dependent on angiogenesis to progress and metastasize. Previous results of a clinical phase II study of the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab in patients with metastatic melanoma documented that ~30 % of the patients experienced clinical benefit of the treatment. The main objective of this project is to identify predictive markers of response to bevacizumab. During 2014, a series of candidate angiogenic biomarkers have been investigated, and the results will soon be submitted for publication.
Predictive markers of anti-angiogenic treatment in renal cell carcinoma
The VEGF receptor inhibitor Sunitinib is first line treatment in metastatic or non-resectable clear cell carcinoma of the kidney. About 50 % of the patients are expected to respond. In a patient series of 45 cases with metastatic clear cell renal carcinoma, the team is now working on a set of candidate biomarkers for their predictive value. Blood and tissue samples are under investigation. During 2014, the clinical data, response data as well as quality of life data has been analyzed.
The role of HSP27 in cellular stress, wound healing and tissue trauma
The small heat shock protein (HSP27) is involved in human tumor dormancy and the “angiogenic switch”. HSP27 is also a promising predictive marker for anti-angiogenic treatment. The research group will investigate how tissue trauma and wound healing can initiate tumor growth and synchronize growth of occult micrometastases. The role of cellular stress response mechanisms following tissue trauma, with focus on HSP27, will be evaluated.
2016 Spring Interview
Oddbjørn Straume and his group are working on several promising projects, including research on melanoma, kidney cancer and breast cancer.
Can you tell us about your work and what drives you?
"Melanoma is my personal favorite among all cancers. The melanoma is a kind of prototype malignancy for many kinds of tumor processes, such as interactions with the immune system and the tumor microenvironment, cellular plasticity as well as angiogenesis. I also have research projects on treatment of metastatic kidney cancer. In addition, we study the relation between physiologic processes, such as wound healing, stress responses or tissue trauma, and breast cancer recurrence. In the clinic, I work with all these three cancer types."
How promising are the results so far?
"We set out to identify cancer biomarkers that could be used to guide good clinical decision making. This is a huge challenge, and I am respectful of how difficult it is to predict the behavior of a disease that by definition is unpredictable, due to tumor cell heterogeneity and complex interactions with the host tissues. Nevertheless, I think that the time spent on building up clinical series with complete follow-up and treatment response endpoints will be worthwhile. Several of the candidate biomarkers studied in the CCBIO groups need validation in these kinds of datasets before they can be introduced in the clinic. In particular, a planned randomized phase Ib/II clinical trial will be specifically designed to validate predictive biomarkers of anti-Axl targeted treatment."
What do you hope for the future regarding coming research?
"I hope that the time invested in our clinical trials so far will pay off by resulting in new promising predictive markers useful for the clinicians when planning individualized treatment. I also hope that our research will increase the understanding of tumor biological processes, and maybe, if we are lucky, lead to new targets for future treatment of cancer."
See Straume's PubMed publication list here.