Research team Catharina Larsson

Molecular genetic backgrounds of endocrine tumor development

Recognition of individuals at risk of cancer, early disease detection and prevention of metastatic spread are central goals in cancer research, which require detailed understanding of underlying and associated molecular events. The diverse mechanistic backgrounds of tumor etiology and development have profound impacts on the presentation and natural course of the diseases. Ongoing dissections of these key events have already given important insights concerning cancer origin, genetic predisposition and other risk factors, molecular pathways in disease development, as well as basic disease mechanisms. These events include classical genetic alterations such as genomic rearrangements, copy number alterations and DNA mutations acting alongside dynamic epigenetic alterations of e.g. DNA methylation, histone modifications and small RNAs, in turn affecting the local expression pattern and cellular functions.

Endocrine tumours are found throughout the human body, with the most commonly known originating in the parathyroid glands, the thyroid, the adrenals or neuro-endocrine cells of the abdomen. The endocrine tumour entity encompasses the entire spectra from indolent and benign to mankind’s worst cancer forms. In addition, many endocrine tumours produce hormones that give rise to severe symptoms, although the tumours themselves may not be a threat to the patient. Heritable disease is common and associations with hormonal status are recognised. These circumstances indicate that several principally different mechanisms are involved in tumour risk, etiology and development. They further enable elucidation of molecular events starting from very early tumor development through eventual progression. 

Our studies aim to explore and solve problems related to the following general  questions:

-     Tumor etiology concerning risk, predisposing factors and natural course
-     Tumor detection, prognostication, and follow-up
-      Key genetic events in sporadic and heritable disease
-      Static and dynamic molecular aberrations underlying or caused by cancer development
-      Functional understanding of growth in relation to hormonal production and sensitivity
-      Novel targets for diagnostics and therapy development  

List of publications C Larsson


Catharina Larsson
Cancer Center Karolinska, Karolinska University Hospital-Solna R8:04, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8 5177 3930 or +46 8 5177 3616

Team members

Catharina Larsson, MD, Professor, Group leader
Na Wang, MD, PhD student
Omid Fotouhi, MSc, PhD student
Adam Stenman, MD, PhD student
Anastasios Sofiadis, MD, PhD, Associated (Employment: Resident in Oncology at Radiumhemmet Karolinska)
Ming Lu, MD, PhD, Associated
Luqman Sulaiman, MD, PhD, Associated
Felix Haglund, MD, PhD, Associated (Employment: Resident in Pathology at Radiumhemmet Karolinska)
Andrii Dinets, MD, PhD student, Associated
Mehran Ghaderi, PhD, Associated (Employment: Laboratory engineer in molecular pathology at Radiumhemmet Karolinska)


The present research is generously supported by grants from:

  • The Swedish Research Council
  • The Swedish Cancer Society
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Stockholm County Council
  • SFO Cancer, STRATCAN
  • The Cancer Research Foundations of Radiumhemmet
Cancer and OncologyEndocrinology