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Tumour epigenetics


An in vitro culture of brain cancer stem cells


Helena Carén

Contact Information | List of Publications


Epigenetic processes control which genes that are expressed - in specific tissues and under specific conditions. Dysfunction of epigenetic control can lead to the development of diseases, including cancer. Epigenetic alterations are often observed at the earliest stages of neoplasia within the altered tissue stem and progenitor cells. However, these changes are reversible and can potentially be “treated”. Recurrence of cancer is a major problem. A good initial response to treatment often occurs, whereas recurrent tumours are difficult to cure. Cancer stem cells are thought to be a driving force behind tumour recurrence.


In the group we are studying brain tumours, from children and adults. The most common type of adult brain tumour is glioblastoma. Glioblastomas are highly aggressive with a median survival of less than one year. In children, medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour. Paediatric brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity in children. There are severe side-effects from the treatment and childhood survivors often experience substantial long-term problems.

We use cancer stem cells from brain tumours and normal neural stem cells that we culture in vitro. The presence of cancer stem cells in brain tumours is well-established but knowledge on how to target them therapeutically is still missing. The aim of our research is to increase survival of patients with brain tumours while decreasing adverse side-effects from treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

If you are interested to join our lab (as master student, PhD student, post-doc or bioinformatician) please send an informal inquiry to Helena Carén.

Group members

Helena Carén, PhD, Principal Investigator
Anna Danielsson, PhD
Susanna Larsson, PhD student
Ágota Tűzesi, Research assistant
Charlotte Frick, Lab technician
Anna Wenger, Research assistant
Patricia Ruiz Ontañón, PhD, guest researcher
Elizabeth Schepke, MD, associated group member
Nidal Ghosheh, associated PhD student
Mia Magnusson, associated PhD student

Sidansvarig: Dan Baeckström|Sidan uppdaterades: 2016-05-02

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