Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
Associate Investigators

Elisabeth Wik

Dr. Elisabeth Wik has been a cancer researcher since 2007. She holds the position as Head of Department of Pathology (Haukeland University Hospital), Associate Professor at Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, and has since 2018 been head of the CCBIO Research School for Cancer Studies.

Portrait photo.
Ingvild Festervoll Melien

Main content

Research focus

The research group Breast Cancer of the Young – Bergen (BCY-B) was established in 2019, focusing on studies of breast cancer in women younger than 50 years of age. This group experiences more aggressive tumors and poorer survival compared to what is expected based on traditional clinico-pathologic prognostic measures. BCY-B studies agerelated breast cancer biology, aiming for diagnostic biomarker development and improved prognostication for the group of young breast cancer patients – a project of high clinical relevance.


1. Estrogen receptor-related biology in breast cancer of the young
2. Age-dependent transcriptomic alterations in breast cancer of the young
3. Age-dependent differences in immunoangiogenic responses in breast cancer
4. Targets for therapy in primary and metastatic lesions in breast cancer of the young

Recent important results

The BCY-B group is still in an early phase. Over the last years, well annotated cohorts of tissue from the BCY patients have been established, including matched primary and metastatic tissue, and strong follow-up data. One paper is submitted (Ingebriktsen et al.). Work on GATA3, FOXA1, AGR2, and TFF1 is ongoing as part of the subproject “Estrogen receptor-related biology in breast cancer of the young”. Further, studies of transcriptional age-dependent alterations and molecular subtypes in metastases from breast cancer of the young, are in progress. Submission of the first paper from the BCY-B group, completion of cohort collection, and funding for one new PhD student have been achieved in 2021.

Current challenges

International studies on this patient group are limited. Clinically relevant findings from studies by the BCY-B group needs validation in external cohorts. Collaborative work is needed, and Nordic and European collaborative efforts will be initiated.

Future plans

BCY-B aims to further explore the tumor microenvironment with agerelated biological differences in focus. The group will also focus on response to endocrine therapy in BCY (subprojects 1 and 3). Validation studies, in both in-house and external cohorts, are planned for. Expansion of well-annotated BCY cohorts, including tissue data, is initiated. Efforts to establish international collaborations and networks are planned.