Jonas Bergh's Group

Our aim is to perform clinical/translational/preclinical breast cancer studies in order to better understand and predict an individual patient's unique drug sensitivity, improve breast cancer survival and avoid treatment-related toxicity.

Jonas Bergh's research group


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women globally with 2.1 million estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. In Sweden, about 8000 individuals had 10,063 breast cancer diagnoses in 2018, and 1,353 women died of breast cancer in 2019.


Through the analysis of prognostic and treatment predictive factors in prospective and randomised clinical trials, our goal is to improve the selection of treatments, including additions to standard treatments. Population-derived patient materials are used to evaluate and validate these factors and biopsy and blood sampling are performed for molecular characterisation. Sequencing, gene signature- (including immune-related gene signatures), and protein data-immunohistochemistry data are analysed in primary tumours as prognostic and treatment predictive factors, as well as during tumour progression and in corresponding metastases.

Current projects

  • In the completed prospective and randomised PANTHER trial and previous and completed neoadjuvant projects (e.g. TP study, PROMIX, PREDIX Her-2) we aim to identify further therapy predictive factors - and we will investigate if correlating SNP data with dose levels (PANTHER) for individual patients/patient groups may identify those who tolerated higher or lower doses with similar levels of toxicity, respectively.
  • Patients not responding to neoadjuvant treatment can be offered an optional treatment, which can improve treatment outcome; the same is not possible with adjuvant treatment. A surrogate marker in neoadjuvant therapy is pathological complete response (pCR). We are also investigating the mechanism for cytotoxic effects; of particular interest for patients with ER positive cancers, while the effects may be linked to certain immune-related markers. In parallel with other research studies, our long-term goal is also to evaluate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on breast cancer management strategies, and how it may have affected outcome.

In summary, the aim of our strategies is to utilise analyses of randomised clinical trials in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and metastatic setting in order to provide individualised treatments, reduce the risk of relapse and side effects and improve breast cancer patient survival.

Research teams


Infertility as sequela of cancer treatment has a recognized negative impact in quality of survival and performance of procedures aimed at fertility preservation are increasing in the population of young patients with cancer. My clinical research projects aim to evaluate and increase the safety and efficacy of fertility preservation and to find predictors of success for treatments using assisted reproductive technologies. My experimental research is conducted at our Laboratory of Translational Fertility Preservation at KI and Cancer Center Karolinska and it is oriented to the investigation of gonadal damage due to cancer treatment and ovarian transplantation.


Research focus:
Exploring the use of image-based artificial intelligence in precision screening and treatment optimization for breast cancer

Group members

Jonas Bergh, Professor, Group Leader
Susanne Agartz, Lab Engineer
Renske Altena, MD, PhD, Postdoc
Amandine Anastácio, PhD, Postdoc
Evangelia Daskalakis, PhD, Research Administrator Cancer Research KI
Aafke Duinmeijer, Student
Helen Eriksson, Personal Administrator
Louise Eriksson-Bergman, MD, PhD
Theodoros Foukakis, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Lecturer
Johanna Furuhjelm, PhD, Research Coordinator Cancer Research KI
Anna-Maria Georgoudaki, PhD
Alaa Haidar, MD, PhD student
Xia Hao, MSc, PhD student
Thomas Hatschek, MD, PhD, Associate Professor
Elham Hedayati, MD, PhD
Gry Johansen, MD, PhD student
Aina Johnsson, PhD
Malthe Jacob Erik Karlsson, MD
Luisa Kessler, MD, PhD student
Una Kjällquist, MD, PhD
Johanna Klinge, PhD, Research Engineer
Elisabet Lidbrink, MD, PhD
Annelie Liljegren, MD, PhD, Associate Professor
Carin Elisabeth Ingegerd Lindén, MD
John Lövrot, PhD, Bioinformatician
Anna Marklund, MD, PhD student
Alexios Matikas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor
Hanna Nilsson, PhD, Project Coordinator
Antroula Papakonstantinou, MD, PhD, Postdoc
Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor
Per Rydberg, PhD, Researcher               
Mattie Salim, MD, PhD student
Hana Shabana, MD, PhD student
Emmanouil Sifakis, PhD, Bioinformatician
Fredrik Strand, MD, PhD
Nick Tobin, PhD, Associate Professor
Birgitta Wallberg, MD, PhD
Kang Wang, MD
Nils Wilking, MD, PhD, Associate Professor
Ulla Wilking, PhD
Hanjing Xie, MD, PhD, Associate Professor
Ioannis Zerdes, MD, PhD, Postdoc
Yajing Zhu, PhD student

Selected publications

Complete sequencing of the p53 gene provides prognostic information in breast cancer patients, particularly in relation to adjuvant systemic therapy and radiotherapy.
Bergh J, Norberg T, Sjögren S, Lindgren A, Holmberg L
Nat. Med. 1995 Oct;1(10):1029-34

Positron emission tomography studies in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic breast cancer: a method for early therapy evaluation?
Jansson T, Westlin JE, Ahlström H, Lilja A, Långström B, Bergh J
J. Clin. Oncol. 1995 Jun;13(6):1470-7

Tailored fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide compared with marrow-supported high-dose chemotherapy as adjuvant treatment for high-risk breast cancer: a randomised trial. Scandinavian Breast Group 9401 study.
Bergh J, Wiklund T, Erikstein B, Lidbrink E, Lindman H, Malmström P, Kellokumpu-Lehtinen P, Bengtsson N O, Söderlund G, Anker G, Wist E, Ottosson S, Salminen E, Ljungman P, Holte H, Nilsson J, Blomqvist C, Wilking N
Lancet 2000 Oct;356(9239):1384-91

Growth-inhibitory and tumor- suppressive functions of p53 depend on its repression of CD44 expression.
Samuel Godar, Tan A Ince, George W Bell, David Feldser, Joana Liu Donaher, Jonas Bergh, Anne Liu, Kevin Miu, Randolph S Watnick, Ferenc Reinhardt, Sandra S McAllister, Tyler Jacks, Robert A Weinberg
Cell 2008 Jul;134(1):62-73

TP53 status for prediction of sensitivity to taxane versus non-taxane neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer (EORTC 10994/BIG 1-00): a randomised phase 3 trial.
Hervé Bonnefoi, Martine Piccart, Jan Bogaerts, Louis Mauriac, Pierre Fumoleau, Etienne Brain, Thierry Petit, Philippe Rouanet, Jacek Jassem, Emmanuel Blot, Khalil Zaman, Tanja Cufer, Alain Lortholary, Elisabet Lidbrink, Sylvie André, Saskia Litière, Lissandra Dal Lago, Véronique Becette, David A Cameron, Jonas Bergh, Richard Iggo, EORTC 10994/BIG 1-00 Study Investigators
Lancet Oncol. 2011 Jun;12(6):527-39

Comparisons between different polychemotherapy regimens for early breast cancer: meta-analyses of long-term outcome among 100,000 women in 123 randomised trials.
Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group* (EBCTCG).
(*Jonas Bergh member of Steering Committee & writing committee).
Lancet 2012 Feb;379(9814):432-44

Clinically used breast cancer markers such as estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 are unstable throughout tumor progression.
Lindström LS, Karlsson E, Wilking UM, Johansson U, Hartman J, Lidbrink EK, Hatschek T, Skoog L, Bergh, J.
J. Clin. Oncol. 2012 Jul;30(21):2601-8

Effect of Tailored Dose-Dense Chemotherapy vs Standard 3-Weekly Adjuvant Chemotherapy on Recurrence-Free Survival Among Women With High-Risk Early Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
Foukakis T, von Minckwitz G, Bengtsson NO, Brandberg Y, Wallberg B, Fornander T, Mlineritsch B, Schmatloch S, Singer CF, Steger G, Egle D, Karlsson E, Carlsson L, Loibl S, Untch M, Hellström M, Johansson H, Anderson H, Malmström P, Gnant M, Greil R, Möbus V, Bergh J; Swedish Breast Cancer Group (SweBCG), the German Breast Group (GBG), and the Austrian Breast & Colorectal Cancer Study Group (ABCSG).
JAMA 2016 11;316(18):1888-1896

20-Year Risks of Breast-Cancer Recurrence after Stopping Endocrine Therapy at 5 Years.
Pan H, Gray R, Braybrooke J, Davies C, Taylor C, McGale P, Peto R, Pritchard KI, Bergh J, Dowsett M, Hayes DF; EBCTCG.
N. Engl. J. Med. 2017 11;377(19):1836-1846

An HIF-1α/VEGF-A Axis in Cytotoxic T Cells Regulates Tumor Progression.
Palazon A, Tyrakis PA, Macias D, Veliça P, Rundqvist H, Fitzpatrick S, Vojnovic N, Phan AT, Loman N, Hedenfalk I, Hatschek T, Lövrot J, Foukakis T, Goldrath AW, Bergh J, Johnson RS.
Cancer Cell 2017 11;32(5):669-683.e5

Chemoresistance Evolution in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Delineated by Single-Cell Sequencing.
Kim C, Gao R, Sei E, Brandt R, Hartman J, Hatschek T, Crosetto N, Foukakis T, Navin NE.
Cell 2018 05;173(4):879-893.e13

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, Martinez NF, Lagergren J, Hautaniemi S, Hartman J, Bergh J.
J. Clin. Invest. 2018 04;128(4):1355-1370

Increasing the dose intensity of chemotherapy by more frequent administration or sequential scheduling: a patient-level meta-analysis of 37 298 women with early breast cancer in 26 randomised trials.
Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group* (EBCTCG)(*Jonas Bergh member of Steering Committee & co-Chairman for EBCTCG & writing commettee.
Lancet, 393:1440-1452, 2019

Avoiding over- and undertreatment in patients with resected node-positive breast cancer with the use of gene expression signatures: are we there yet?
Matikas A, Foukakis T, Swain S, Bergh J.
Ann Oncol. 2019 Jul 1;30(7):1044-1050.

Pembrolizumab for Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.
Schmid P, Cortes J, Pusztai L, McArthur H, Kümmel S, Bergh J, Denkert C, Park YH, Hui R, Harbeck N, Takahashi M, Foukakis T, Fasching PA, Cardoso F, Untch M, Jia L, Karantza V, Zhao J, Aktan G, Dent R, O'Shaughnessy J; KEYNOTE-522 Investigators.
N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 27;382(9):810-821.

Caring for patients with cancer in the COVID-19 era.
van de Haar J, Hoes LR, Coles CE, Seamon K, Fröhling S, Jäger D, Valenza F, de Braud F, De Petris L, Bergh J, Ernberg I, Besse B, Barlesi F, Garralda E, Piris-Giménez A, Baumann M, Apolone G, Soria JC, Tabernero J, Caldas C, Voest EE.
Nat Med. 2020 May;26(5):665-671.

Complete publication list November 2020