Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
Associate investigators

Line Bjørge

The main research focus of Professor Line Bjørge's group is ovarian cancer, and the aim is to translate data from comprehensive molecular profiling into clinical meaningful strategies to improve prevention and individualized patient care.

Portrait photo.
Ingvild Festervoll Melien

Main content

Research focus

The aim of the group is to explore the pathogenesis of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC), including the molecular (BRCA mutations, HR defects) and phenotypic (platinum sensitivity, degree of debulking) profiles and how these are being integrated into clinical trials and wider practice. The introduction of PARP inhibitors to frontline treatment is believed to translate into an overall survival benefit. Further improvements will require rethinking, and an international roadmap for research priorities has been outlined.


Over the last decade, the group has established a multidisciplinary research portfolio focusing on HGSOC, called Rethinking Ovarian Cancer (RETHINK). Through a focus on biomarkers, preclinical models, and early-phase clinical studies, the aim is to translate data from comprehensive profiling into strategies that improve personalized patient care. The portfolio is divided into four programs: Experimental preclinical models, Tumor microenvironment, Imageguided surgery, and Clinical translation (trials).

In order to accomplish the vision, Line Bjørge has together with Emmet McCormack set up a research team named INOvA (Innovative Novel Ovarian cancer treatment Approaches) that works with and focuses on the various programs. A team of extraordinarily skilled and motivated young researchers has been established, with a research environment that is in a unique position to combine tumorprofiling knowledge and preclinical modeling with implementation studies. The work focusing on how transitions is lost in translation in women living with ovarian cancer is conducted together with Roger Strand.

For vulva cancer, a rare disease where the stroma determines biological behavior and no effective treatment exists neither for local advanced radioresistant disease nor systemic metastases, a similar research program as well as a multidisciplinary team have been established together with Daniela Costea and Karl-Henning Kalland.

Important results

The team has established tools for deep-tissue profiling, a mouse xenograft model platform, unique organoid platforms, near-infra-red (NIR) probes for tumor identification, and instruments to understand how it is to live with ovarian cancer as well as early-phase studies with modern design. These discoveries represent the foundation for ongoing and future projects.

The team’s two-investigator initiated early-phase clinical studies are still open; the IMPACT-study has finish recruitment, while enrolment to the INFLUENCE-trial is still ongoing.

Future plans

Inherent tumor biological characteristics of HGSOC and vulva cancer influence the effect of different therapies (surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapeutics), and to be able to select more individualized treatment establishment and validation of preclinical platforms for deep-tissue profiling, as well as drug screening, are necessary. Given the importance of surgery for both diseases, tumor targeted fluorescence-image guided surgery methodologies will be further developed.


1. To characterize the immunobiology of HGSOC and vulva cancer

2. To integrate the use of single-cell profiling of well-defined clinical trial cohorts to define biomarkers and preclinical models (organoids and PDX models) that portray the in vivo activity of the study drug(s)

3. To develop sensitive and specific tumor targeted NIR fluorescent agents for cancer detection during debulking surgery

4. To be able to present biomarker information to patients in a userfriendly way to avoid therapeutic misconception