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Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
Associate Investigators

Elisabeth Wik

Postdoc Elisabeth Wik has been a member of the Tumor Biology Research Group (directed by Akslen) since 2013, in combination with a position as resident at the Department of Pathology, Haukeland University Hospital.

Portrait photo.
Photo:
Ingvild Festervoll Melien

Research focus

Elisabeth Wik is studying prognostic and predictive biomarkers in breast cancer, and is working on integrating large-scale omics data and clinico-pathologic information, in particular describing biologic characteristics of the different molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Aiming to capture biologic complexity and diagnostic relevance, signature biomarkers have been of major interest since her PhD studies. As a coming pathologist, she value the morphologic tumor features, in particular in relation to biomarkers with diagnostic relevance.

Projects

  1. Angiogenesis related alterations in subsets of breast cancer
    1. Angio-immunogenic phenotype in basal-like breast cancer?
    2. Angiogenesis and neurogenesis; Coordinated programs in triple negative breast cancer?
  2. Dopaminergic compounds in breast cancer; a potential of repurposing dopaminergic compounds to subsets of breast cancer patients?
  3. Biological characterization of tumors of the young breast cancer patients
  4. Improved computational diagnostics in breast cancer histopathology; Computational reading of breast cancer tissue – a potential for novel histopathologic diagnoses and new disease classifications?
  5. Collaborations in other projects of the Akslen group (co-supervisor for Ying Chen, Tor Audun Klingen [dissertation February 2018] Sura Aziz and Kristi Krüger (PhDs in 2017).

Important results

Previous studies on estrogen receptor in endometrial cancer has, along with other studies from the previous Salvesen group, contributed to change of clinical practice and diagnostic work-up for this tumor type at Haukeland University Hospital. Results from a study of Sura Aziz (a PhD candidate under supervision 2014-2017) has contributed to change of routine practice for the histopathologic report on lymph node metastases in breast cancer (see Nasjonalt handlingsprogram med retningslinjer for diagnostikk, behandling og oppfølging av pasienter med brystkreft, HDir 2017).  

Future plans

Combining postdoc and specialization in pathology since 2013/14, Dr. Wik is at present in the starting phase of establishing independent projects within the Akslen group. Along with follow-up plans for the projects described above, she aims to further strengthening the studies of young breast cancer patients, currently supervising one medical research program student in this field (Amalie A. Svanøe) and one candidate in pre-PhD studies (Anna M. Sæle, resident in pathology). The surgeons Turid Aas and Benedicte Davidsen from the Department of Surgery, Haukeland University Hospital, are collaborating on this study.

Novel methods for reading the tumor tissue, including computational assessment, will be explored, searching to improve existing diagnostic tools and disease classifications, also with the aim of including ELSA in our studies.

Of educational aspects, as coordinator of the CCBIO-Harvard INTPART program, she aims to strengthen the portfolio of CCBIO Research School, building both tumor biology related courses and seminars on transferable skills.

Challenges in the field

Taking tumor biological complexity and heterogeneity into account in tissue based studies of cancer biomarkers and to integrate different levels of omics data in translational biomarker studies.