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Johan Hartman's Group

Precision pathology and tumor heterogeneity

Johan Hartman group

Breast cancer remains to be the most common malignancy for women in Sweden. Great improvements in screening and adjuvant therapy have led to a current 5-year survival rate of 90%. The individual treatment strategy is based on routine biomarkers on immunohistochemical level; estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), Her2 and Ki67. ER expression confers strong indications for response to endocrine therapy, whereas patients with Her2-overexpressing tumors can be effectively treated with anti-Her2 therapy. However, such management of breast cancer patients is insufficient to distinguish resistant tumors. We use a variety of methods to identify patterns of drug resistance. Our projects are all of translational character and goes from in vitro experimental models to studies on patient material ex vivo. We are also very interested in the role of tumor-metastatic heterogeneity in relation to drug response.

Next generation breast cancer diagnosis
Next generation breast cancer diagnosis

Group members

Johan Hartman, Associate Professor, Group leader
Lisa Viberg, Research Coordinator
Ran Ma, postdoc
Stephanie Robertson, MD, PhD student
Caroline Rönnlund, MD
Caroline Schagerholm, MD student
Balazs Acs, MD, Postdoc
Xinsong Chen, Postdoc

Selected publications

Evolutionary history of metastatic breast cancer reveals minimal seeding from axillary lymph nodes.
Ullah I, Karthik GM, Alkodsi A, Kjällquist U, Stålhammar G, Lövrot J, et al
J. Clin. Invest. 2018 Apr;128(4):1355-1370

Estrogen Receptor β as a Therapeutic Target in Breast Cancer Stem Cells.
Ma R, Karthik GM, Lövrot J, Haglund F, Rosin G, Katchy A, et al
J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2017 03;109(3):1-14

Sequencing-based breast cancer diagnostics as an alternative to routine biomarkers.
Rantalainen M, Klevebring D, Lindberg J, Ivansson E, Rosin G, Kis L, et al
Sci Rep 2016 11;6():38037

Digital image analysis outperforms manual biomarker assessment in breast cancer.
Stålhammar G, Fuentes Martinez N, Lippert M, Tobin NP, Mølholm I, Kis L, et al
Mod. Pathol. 2016 Apr;29(4):318-29

mTOR inhibitors counteract tamoxifen-induced activation of breast cancer stem cells.
Karthik GM, Ma R, Lövrot J, Kis LL, Lindh C, Blomquist L, et al
Cancer Lett. 2015 Oct;367(1):76-87

Digital image analysis in breast pathology-from image processing techniques to artificial intelligence.
Robertson S, Azizpour H, Smith K, Hartman J
Transl Res 2018 04;194():19-35​​​​​​​