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

SOXC transcription factors in mantle cell lymphoma: the role of promoter methylation in SOX11 expression.
Wasik A, Lord M, Wang X, Zong F, Andersson P, Kimby E, et al
Sci Rep 2013 ;3():1400

Prognostic role of SOX11 in a population-based cohort of mantle cell lymphoma.
Nygren L, Baumgartner Wennerholm S, Klimkowska M, Christensson B, Kimby E, Sander B
Blood 2012 May;119(18):4215-23

WIN55,212-2 induces cytoplasmic vacuolation in apoptosis-resistant MCL cells.
Wasik AM, Almestrand S, Wang X, Hultenby K, Dackland ÅL, Andersson P, et al
Cell Death Dis 2011 Nov;2():e225

Impact of TP53 mutation and 17p deletion in mantle cell lymphoma.
Halldórsdóttir A, Lundin A, Murray F, Mansouri L, Knuutila S, Sundström C, et al
Leukemia 2011 Dec;25(12):1904-8

Gene expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation identify DBN1, SETMAR and HIG2 as direct targets of SOX11 in mantle cell lymphoma.
Wang X, Björklund S, Wasik A, Grandien A, Andersson P, Kimby E, et al
PLoS ONE 2010 Nov;5(11):e14085