Molecular and genetic cancer epidemiology - Linda Sofie Lindström

The Lindström research group’s main scientific interest is in the search of understanding the specific patient and tumor characteristics required throughout tumor progression to enable the cancer tumor to gain early or late metastatic capacity, in the end responsible for virtually all cancer-related death. 

Our research is focused around breast cancer being the most common cancer and cause of death in women in the Western world. Breast cancer is widely recognized as a diverse disease both in the sense of primary tumor metastatic capacity and time to metastatic spread of disease. It has a long natural history, occasionally spanning more than 20 years between primary tumor diagnosis and metastatic disease. Endocrine (hormonal) therapy is a major cornerstone in the management of breast cancer, today selected based on tumor hormonal receptor positivity, improving patient survival considerably. However, despite achievements in the use of different adjuvant therapies, one out of five women with early-stage breast cancer will later develop distant metastatic disease. Hence, there is a need for a refined way of identifying patients at high risk for metastatic disease and thus fatal outcome for individualized therapeutic interventions.

Main research questions:

  • Does intra-tumor heterogeneity influence cancer patient survival and response to therapy?
  • Breast cancer in situ: Who is at high risk to develop invasive breast cancer?
  • Molecular definition of an “indolent” tumor? Identify patients at very low risk for fatal breast cancer.
  • Why do young women with breast cancer have poor prognosis?
  • Is breast cancer survival inherited?

Team members

Senior researcher

Linda Lindström

Organizational unit: Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut), H2


Suvi Renkonen

Organizational unit: Lindström


Nancy Yu

Organizational unit: Lindström

Selected publications

Familial concordance in cancer survival: a Swedish population-based study.
Lindström L, Hall P, Hartman M, Wiklund F, Grönberg H, Czene K
Lancet Oncol. 2007 Nov;8(11):1001-6
Clinically used breast cancer markers such as estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 are unstable throughout tumor progression.
Lindström L, Karlsson E, Wilking U, Johansson U, Hartman J, Lidbrink E, et al
J. Clin. Oncol. 2012 Jul;30(21):2601-8
2q36.3 is associated with prognosis for oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.
Li J, Lindström L, Foo J, Rafiq S, Schmidt M, Pharoah P, et al
Nat Commun 2014 Jun;5():4051
Prognostic information of a previously diagnosed sister is an independent prognosticator for a newly diagnosed sister with breast cancer.
Lindström L, Li J, Lee M, Einbeigi Z, Hartman M, Hall P, et al
Ann. Oncol. 2014 Oct;25(10):1966-72
Molecular subtype and tumor characteristics of breast cancer metastases as assessed by gene expression significantly influence patient post-relapse survival.
Tobin N, Harrell J, Lövrot J, Egyhazi Brage S, Frostvik Stolt M, Carlsson L, et al
Ann. Oncol. 2015 Jan;26(1):81-8

Breast cancerCancer and OncologyCancer genetics