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About me

Professor, molecular oncology, Karolinska Institutet, 2006-

Coordinator STARGET – a Linnaeus center for translational studies on the tumor microenvironment with funding from VR 2006-16

Co-director StratCan – the strategic research programme in cancer at Karolinska Institutet, 2010-

Member of the KI Cancer steering committee

Member of the BRECT breast cancer theme center, 2009-

Deputy Head of the Department of Oncology-Pathology, 2011-14

External reviewer Cancerfonden, Barncancerfonden, SSMF, ERC and national European agencies including CRUK and Wellcome Trust

Main- or co-organizer of UICC Advanced Course of Cell Signaling and Cancer, 1999; Nobel Conference on Breast Cancer, 2012 and Swedish Cancer Research Meeting 2014

Ad hoc member of international scientific advisory boards for e.g. ImClone and Novartis

Completed supervision of 11 PhD students and 15 post-doctoral fellows of which the large majority continues academic research 


Associate Professor, Uppsala University, 1995

Post-doc, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1992-93

Ph.D., Uppsala University, 1990

Research description

My research group performs translation studies on autocrine and paracrine growth factor signaling in cancer, with particular emphasis on regulation of cancer-associated fibroblasts.

10 selected publications

STC1 expression by cancer-associated fibroblasts drives metastasis of colorectal cancer.
Peña C, Céspedes M, Lindh M, Kiflemariam S, Mezheyeuski A, Edqvist P, et al
Cancer Res. 2013 Feb;73(4):1287-97

Selective activation of oxidized PTP1B by the thioredoxin system modulates PDGF-β receptor tyrosine kinase signaling.
Dagnell M, Frijhoff J, Pader I, Augsten M, Boivin B, Xu J, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Aug;110(33):13398-403


Forkhead box F1 regulates tumor-promoting properties of cancer-associated fibroblasts in lung cancer.
Saito R, Micke P, Paulsson J, Augsten M, Peña C, Jönsson P, et al
Cancer Res. 2010 Apr;70(7):2644-54

CXCL14 is an autocrine growth factor for fibroblasts and acts as a multi-modal stimulator of prostate tumor growth.
Augsten M, Hägglöf C, Olsson E, Stolz C, Tsagozis P, Levchenko T, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009 Mar;106(9):3414-9

Effect of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta inhibition with STI571 on radioimmunotherapy.
Baranowska-Kortylewicz J, Abe M, Pietras K, Kortylewicz Z, Kurizaki T, Nearman J, et al
Cancer Res. 2005 Sep;65(17):7824-31

High interstitial fluid pressure - an obstacle in cancer therapy.
Heldin C, Rubin K, Pietras K, Ostman A
Nat. Rev. Cancer 2004 Oct;4(10):806-13

PDGF receptors as cancer drug targets.
Pietras K, Sjöblom T, Rubin K, Heldin C, Ostman A
Cancer Cell 2003 May;3(5):439-43

Inhibition of PDGF receptor signaling in tumor stroma enhances antitumor effect of chemotherapy.
Pietras K, Rubin K, Sjöblom T, Buchdunger E, Sjöquist M, Heldin C, et al
Cancer Res. 2002 Oct;62(19):5476-84

PDGF-C is a new protease-activated ligand for the PDGF alpha-receptor.
Li X, Pontén A, Aase K, Karlsson L, Abramsson A, Uutela M, et al
Nat. Cell Biol. 2000 May;2(5):302-9