Linda Björkhem-Bergman's research group of Palliative Medicin

Our research group conducts research in Palliative Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. The research group started at the Department of Clinical Geriatrics, NVS, in January 2018 and we have our clinical base at Stockholm Sjukhem, Dept of Palliative Medicine. The research group consists of me Linda, as Principal Investigator, and my two Ph-D students Helena Bergström and Caritha Klasson and two post-docs who work part time with research, Gabriella Frisk, MD, PhD, and Maria Helde-Frankling, MD, PhD.

The goal of our research is to find new pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments to improve the quality of life and reduce the symptom burden in end-of-life patients. We mainly conduct clinical studies where the research issues come from our daily clinical work in palliative care. We also have translational and experimental projects in collaboration with several different research groups at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, KI. My main focus in recent years has been to investigate the possible positive effects of vitamin D treatment on cancer patients and the effects of vitamin D on the immune system. We also have projects on the function of the immune system at the end of life, evaluation of infection treatments in palliative cancer care, projects on nutrition, treatment options for cancer related fatigue, various aspects of drug treatment in palliative care with a focus on gender differences and  drug metabolism in end-of-life patients.

Research group leader

Principal Investigator Linda Björkhem-Bergman

I am MD since 2001 and defended my thesis at the Department of Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, 2004 with a dissertation on carcinogenesis and multi-drug resistance. After that I started my specialist training  (ST-läkare) and post-doc in Clinical Pharmacology and achieved specialist competence in Clinical Pharmacology in 2012. I became Associate professor (Docent) in Clinical Pharmacology at KI in 2013 and started working in Palliative Care the same year. I now have my clinical base at Stockholms Sjukhem where I work as a senior consultant in Palliative Care.




  • Associate Professor Peter Bergman's research group at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, LABMED, KI: Collaborations on translational projects on vitamin D, the immune system and infection treatments.
  • Associate Professor Annika Karlsson's research group at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, LABMED, KI: Collaborations in the project on the function of the immune system at the end of life.
  • Associate Professor Lena Ektröm's research group at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, LABMED, KI: Studies on drug metabolism and how genetic polymorphisms affect the effects and metabolism of vitamin D. LE is a co-supervisor for PhD-student Helena Bergström.
  • Prof Ulf Diczfalussy's research group, Division of Clinical Chemistry, LABMED, KI: Studies on drug metabolism with a focus on endogenous CYP3A activity markers.
  • Associate Professor Ylva Trolle-Lagerros, Division of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Medicine: Studies on optimizing nutrition for cancer patients in the palliative phase and projects regarding cancer patients' experiences of weight loss. I am co-supervisor for YTL's Ph-D student Charlotte Goodrose-Flores.
  • Jenny Bergqvist, Senior Consultant in Oncology, PhD: Clinical studies on vitamin D treatment in patients with advanced cancer.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Palliative D - a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of vitamin D treatment to palliative cancer patients

• The function of the immune system in end-of-life

• Studies of cancer-induced fatigue - etiology and possible treatments

• Drug metabolism in end-of-life

• Drug treatment in palliative care – when och how should be terminate cardiovascular preventive medicines?

• Cortisone treatment in Palliative Cancer Care

• How can we best conduct randomized studies in palliative care and thus contribute to more evidence-based treatments? Qualitative interview studies with patients, next-of-kin and healthcare professionals.



  • ALF Project grants (Region Stockholm)
  • Cancerfonden (The Swedish Cancer Society)
  • Stiftelsen Stockholms Sjukhems Jubileumsfond

Utvalda publikationer

Sex-Differences in Discontinuation of Statin Treatment in Cancer Patients the Year before Death.
Frisk G, Bergström H, Helde Frankling M, Björkhem-Bergman L
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2021 Apr;14(4):

Fatigue in Cancer Patients in Palliative Care-A Review on Pharmacological Interventions.
Klasson C, Helde Frankling M, Lundh Hagelin C, Björkhem-Bergman L
Cancers (Basel) 2021 Feb;13(5):

Equal effect of vancomycin lock with or without heparin in treatment of central venous catheter related blood stream infections - an observational study in palliative home care.
Ranch-Lundin M, Schedin A, Björkhem-Bergman L
Infect Dis (Lond) 2021 May;():1-5

High-protein compared with standard parenteral nutrition in palliative cancer care.
Goodrose-Flores C, Schedin A, Nelander J, Almerud A, Trolle-Lagerros Y, Bonn S, Björkhem-Bergman L
BMJ Support Palliat Care 2020 May;():

Catheter-related bloodstream infections in palliative care patients receiving parenteral nutrition by medical home care.
Schedin A, Goodrose-Flores C, Bonn S, Björkhem-Bergman L
BMJ Support Palliat Care 2020 Sep;():

Are Vitamin D3 Tablets and Oil Drops Equally Effective in Raising S-25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations? A Post-Hoc Analysis of an Observational Study on Immunodeficient Patients.
Helde Frankling M, Norlin AC, Hansen S, Wahren Borgström E, Bergman P, Björkhem-Bergman L
Nutrients 2020 Apr;12(5):

Vitamin D and Fatigue in Palliative Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Study of Sex Difference in Baseline Data from the Palliative D Cohort.
Klasson C, Helde-Frankling M, Sandberg C, Nordström M, Lundh-Hagelin C, Björkhem-Bergman L
J Palliat Med 2021 Mar;24(3):433-437

Death at home: predictive factors in a medical home care unit.
Rasch-Westin M, Helde-Frankling M, Björkhem-Bergman L
BMJ Support Palliat Care 2019 Sep;():

Differences in discontinuation of statin treatment in women and men with advanced cancer disease.
Bergström H, Brånvall E, Helde-Frankling M, Björkhem-Bergman L
Biol Sex Differ 2018 10;9(1):47

Vitamin D supplementation to persistent carriers of MRSA-a randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Björkhem-Bergman L, Missailidis C, Karlsson-Valik J, Tammelin A, Ekström L, Bottai M, et al
Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2018 Sep;37(9):1735-1744

Vitamin D supplementation to palliative cancer patients: protocol of a double-blind, randomised controlled trial 'Palliative-D'.
Helde-Frankling M, Bergqvist J, Klasson C, Nordström M, Höijer J, Bergman P, et al
BMJ Support Palliat Care 2017 Dec;7(4):458-463