Research group - Birgitta Sander & Birger Christensson

Molecular pathogenesis of malignant lymphoma. The goal with this project is to increase our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of malignant lymphoma in order to identify markers for aggressive and indolent disease and find new potential therapeutic targets. Specifically we investigate the role of the SOXC transcription factors, the cannabinoid receptors andlipid mediators belonging to the endocannabinoid system.

The project aims to increase the knowledge on pathogenetic mechanisms in lymphoproliferative disorders and lymphoma. Special focus is on 1) the functional role of the cannabinoid receptors and their physiological agonists - arachidonic acid derivatives produced by cells in the lymphoma microenvironment. 2) how signaling from cells in the microenvironment and how the gut microbiome contribute to the pathogenesis. 3) the functional role of the SOXC transcription factors in lymphoma. 4) genetic alterations associated with tumor progression and relapse in mantle cell lymphoma. We have a well-characterized patient cohort with corresponding biobanked tumors including samples from indolent and aggressive disease and primary and relapse samples. NGS and other methods are used for characterizing genetic and epigenetic changes, analyse gene and protein expression. This project will lead to increased knowledge on mechanisms underlying lymphoma pathogenesis and may open up for more individualized therapy. It will lead to better understanding of disease progression and to find markers and mutations that can guide the choice of therapy already at the time of diagnosis. The cannabinoid receptors are also interesting potential therapeutic targets in lymphoproliferative disorders.

Research group leader Birgitta Sander

Birgitta Sander

Professor/senior physician
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Birger Christensson

Affiliated to teaching/tutoring
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Group members

Research techniques

  • Molecular biology including gene expression profiling
  • Quantitative PCR, siRNA
  • Cellular techniques including isolation and culture of primary cells and cell lines
  • Various methods for analyzing cell proliferation survival and cell death
  • 8 color flow cytometry and cell sorting
  • Analysis of cell signalling
  • Microscopy methods including robotized immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and electron microscopy

External funding

The Swedish Research Council, The Swedish Cancer Society, The Cancer Society in Stockholm, The Stockholm County Council (ALF)

Teaching assignments

Education of medical doctors, dentists, nurses and biomedical personnel.

Selected publications

Under the cover of mantle cell lymphoma.
Sander B
Blood 2020 09;136(12):1378-1379

Differential B-Cell Receptor Signaling Requirement for Adhesion of Mantle Cell Lymphoma Cells to Stromal Cells.
Sadeghi L, Arvidsson G, Merrien M, M Wasik A, Görgens A, Smith CIE, Sander B, Wright AP
Cancers (Basel) 2020 May;12(5):

Impact of Sox11 over-expression in Ba/F3 cells.
Lord M, Arvidsson G, Wasik AM, Christensson B, Wright AP, Grandien A, Sander B
Haematologica 2018 12;103(12):e594-e597

Clinical and functional impact of recurrent S1PR1 mutations in mantle cell lymphoma.
Wasik AM, Wu C, Mansouri L, Rosenquist R, Pan-Hammarström Q, Sander B
Blood Adv 2018 03;2(6):621-625

Genetic heterogeneity in primary and relapsed mantle cell lymphomas: Impact of recurrent CARD11 mutations.
Wu C, de Miranda NF, Chen L, Wasik AM, Mansouri L, Jurczak W, Galazka K, Dlugosz-Danecka M, Machaczka M, Zhang H, Peng R, Morin RD, Rosenquist R, Sander B, Pan-Hammarström Q
Oncotarget 2016 Jun;7(25):38180-38190

T-cell levels are prognostic in mantle cell lymphoma.
Nygren L, Wasik AM, Baumgartner-Wennerholm S, Jeppsson-Ahlberg Å, Klimkowska M, Andersson P, Buhrkuhl D, Christensson B, Kimby E, Wahlin BE, Sander B
Clin Cancer Res 2014 Dec;20(23):6096-104

Perturbations of the endocannabinoid system in mantle cell lymphoma: correlations to clinical and pathological features.
Wasik AM, Nygren L, Almestrand S, Zong F, Flygare J, Wennerholm SB, Saft L, Andersson P, Kimby E, Wahlin BE, Christensson B, Sander B
Oncoscience 2014 ;1(8):550-7