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About me

I am a cervical cancer epidemiologist with a strong focus on molecular epidemiological studies conducted in the excellent Swedish register and biobank infrastructure. My main interest is in the elimination of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers through virological research and improved cervical screening and HPV-vaccination practices.

Other chief interests include the development of biomarkers for female cancers including ovarian cancer. As such, I am involved with several projects in clinical biobanks of cytology and histology, which are strong resources for comprehensive studies on biomarkers for female disease.

Furthermore, I am Research Coordinator for NIASC, a Nordic-Baltic Center of Excellence in eHealth (  where I am involved with projects on machine learning, text mining of medical records, and next-generation sequencing into metagenomics, for the improved prediction of screening-detectable cancer forms.


2013. PhD in medical science, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

2009. MD, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

2005. BA in History of Art, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.


Research description

My research revolves around the following areas:

- Register-based optimization of cervical screening and HPV-vaccination
- Biomarker research into new tests for cervical precancer/cancer
- Novel eScience/Big Data methods for enhancement of screening algorithms
- Epidemiology and prevention of herpes zoster (shingles)

Key collaborations

- Cervical cancer and HPV infection, through the ACCES Project (
- Deep sequencing of HPV16 infections
- New cervical screening tests, through the BRIGHT project (Biobank- and register-based implementation of gynecological health technologies)
- Female Cancer Prediction Using Cervical Omics to
Individualise Screening and Prevention (
- The Nordic Information for Action eScience Center (NIASC), a Nordic Center of Excellence in health-related eSciences (

Teaching portfolio


Doctoral supervision (Main or co-supervisor)

Olof Grönlund (main supervisor)

Susanna Alder (co-supervisor)

Nicholas Baltzer (co-supervisor)

Zurab Bzhalava (co-supervisor)

Maria Hortlund (co-supervisor)

Jiangrong Wang (co-supervisor)

Eva Herweijer (former co-supervisor, thesis completed 2016)


Master thesis supervision

2017, Jan-June. Supervisor of Public Health Sciences/Public Health Epidemiology student Teresa Kreusch's master thesis: “The association with cervical screening attendance - A Swedish national register-based cohort study”. 



Course in university level pedagogics, at KI, 7.5 university credits

2015 - 2016

Member of the KI Medical program’s Teachers’ Collegium for Primary Care (Primärvårdskollegium)

2009 - present

Lecturer within Scientific Development (Vetenskaplig Utveckling), a course in principles of science and evidence-based medicine for medical students. Active lecturer on semester 1, 6 and 10 during 2014-2015. Formally responsible for the VetU-tuition semester 6, during 2014-2015. Now lecturer at the KI Medical Program, Biomedicine Program, Nursing program and postgraduate level courses.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2016. Jonas Söderquist Award for basic research in virology or immunology.

2011. Awarded grant from Robert Lundberg Memorial Foundation for research on tumour-related diseases.

2010. Research-Internship (“Forskar-AT”), to gain a medical license - AT at Karolinska University Hospital combined with funding for 1 year research time.

2009. MD-PhD scholarship for four-year doctoral studies, awarded by the Board for Postgraduate Education’s Faculty Funds, Karolinska Institutet.

2008. Winner of Idea Competition 2008. Arranged by Unit for Bioentrepreneurship, Karolinska Institutet.

2008. Distinction for Excellent Scientific Project, awarded by the Committee for Elective Studies (KVP), Karolinska Institutet

2007. Honorary Mention, McKinsey Award 2007. For “having shown a significant performance with good study results, good cooperation ability and great power of initiative”.


Mode of HPV vaccination delivery and equity in vaccine uptake: A nationwide cohort study
Wang J, Ploner A, Sparén P, Lepp T, Roth A, Arnheim-dahlström L, et al
Preventive medicine 2019;120():26-33

Differential uptake of herpes zoster vaccination associated with socioeconomic status: A population-based study in Stockholm County, Sweden
Fogelberg S, Lamb F, Grönlund O, Eriksson I, Sundström K, Clements M, et al
Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety 2018;27(11):1159-1165

Epigenome-based cancer risk prediction: rationale, opportunities and challenges
Forecee (4c) Consortium, Widschwendter M, Jones A, Evans I, Reisel D, Dillner J, et al
Nature reviews. Clinical oncology 2018;15(5):292-309

High-risk human papillomavirus status and prognosis in invasive cervical cancer: A nationwide cohort study
Lei J, Ploner A, Lagheden C, Eklund C, Nordqvist Kleppe S, Andrae B, et al
PLoS medicine 2018;15(10):e1002666-

Human papillomavirus type 16 genomic variation in women with subsequent in situ or invasive cervical cancer: prospective population-based study
Arroyo-mühr Ls, Lagheden C, Hultin E, Eklund C, Adami Ho, Dillner J, et al
British journal of cancer 2018;119(9):1163-1168

Nationwide comprehensive human papillomavirus (HPV) genotyping of invasive cervical cancer
Lagheden C, Eklund C, Lamin H, Kleppe Sn, Lei J, Elfström Km, et al
British journal of cancer 2018;118(10):1377-1381

Opportunistic HPV vaccination at age 16-23 and cervical screening attendance in Sweden: a national register-based cohort study
Kreusch T, Wang J, Sparén P, Sundström K
BMJ open 2018;8(10):e024477-

What do European women know about their female cancer risks and cancer screening? A cross-sectional online intervention survey in five European countries
Forecee (4c) Consortium, Wegwarth O, Widschwendter M, Cibula D, Sundström K, Portuesi R, et al
BMJ open 2018;8(12):e023789-

Authors' response: Letter to the Editor - HPV vaccine and autoimmunity
Grönlund O, Herweijer E, Sundström K, Arnheim-dahlström L
Journal of internal medicine 2017;281(3):311-312

Effectiveness of cervical screening after age 60 years according to screening history: Nationwide cohort study in Sweden
Wang J, Andrae B, Sundström K, Ploner A, Ström P, Elfström Km, et al
PLoS medicine 2017;14(10):e1002414-

Follow-up of women with cervical cytological abnormalities showing atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion: a nationwide cohort study
Sundström K, Lu D, Elfström Km, Wang J, Andrae B, Dillner J, et al
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 2017;216(1):48.e1-48.e15

Reply to Ryser et al
Sundström K, Herweijer E, Sparén P, Ploner A
International journal of cancer 2017;141(2):416-418

Risk stratification in cervical cancer screening by complete screening history: Applying bioinformatics to a general screening population
Baltzer N, Sundström K, Nygård Jf, Dillner J, Komorowski J
International journal of cancer 2017;141(1):200-209

Timing of two versus three doses of quadrivalent HPV vaccine and associated effectiveness against condyloma in Sweden: a nationwide cohort study
Lamb F, Herweijer E, Ploner A, Uhnoo I, Sundstrom K, Sparen P, et al
BMJ OPEN 2017;7(6):e015021-

Bereavement Is Associated with an Increased Risk of HPV Infection and Cervical Cancer: An Epidemiological Study in Sweden
Lu D, Sundström K, Sparén P, Fall K, Sjölander A, Dillner J, et al
Cancer research 2016;76(3):643-51

Incidence of new-onset autoimmune disease in girls and women with pre-existing autoimmune disease after quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination: a cohort study
Grönlund O, Herweijer E, Sundström K, Arnheim-dahlström L
Journal of internal medicine 2016;280(6):618-626

Laboratory audit as part of the quality assessment of a primary HPV-screening program
Hortlund M, Sundström K, Lamin H, Hjerpe A, Dillner J
Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 2016;75():33-6

Lack of Significant Effects of Chlamydia trachomatis Infection on Cervical Adenocarcinoma Risk: Nested Case-Control Study
Smelov V, Gheit T, Sundström K, Ploner A, Mckay-chopin S, Eklund C, et al
PloS one 2016;11(5):e0156215-

Quadrivalent HPV vaccine effectiveness against high-grade cervical lesions by age at vaccination: A population-based study
Herweijer E, Sundström K, Ploner A, Uhnoo I, Sparén P, Arnheim-dahlström L
International journal of cancer 2016;138(12):2867-74

Risk of invasive cervical cancer after atypical glandular cells in cervical screening: nationwide cohort study
Wang J, Andrae B, Sundström K, Ström P, Ploner A, Elfström Km, et al
BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2016;352():i276-

Sexually transmitted infections after bereavement - a population-based cohort study
Bond E, Lu D, Herweijer E, Sundström K, Valdimarsdóttir U, Fall K, et al
BMC infectious diseases 2016;16(1):419-

Validation of a standardized extraction method for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples
Lagheden C, Eklund C, Kleppe Sn, Unger Er, Dillner J, Sundström K
Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 2016;80():36-9

Barriers to and facilitators of compliance with clinic-based cervical cancer screening: population-based cohort study of women aged 23-60 years
Östensson E, Alder S, Elfström Km, Sundström K, Zethraeus N, Arbyn M, et al
PloS one 2015;10(5):e0128270-

Finding Cervical Cancer Symptoms in Swedish Clinical Text using a Machine Learning Approach and NegEx
Weegar R, Kvist M, Sundström K, Brunak S, Dalianis H
AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium 2015;2015():1296-305

Incidence of herpes zoster and associated events including stroke--a population-based cohort study
Sundström K, Weibull Ce, Söderberg-löfdal K, Bergström T, Sparén P, Arnheim-dahlström L
BMC infectious diseases 2015;15():488-

Interactions Between High- and Low-Risk HPV Types Reduce the Risk of Squamous Cervical Cancer
Sundström K, Ploner A, Arnheim-dahlström L, Eloranta S, Palmgren J, Adami Ho, et al
Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015;107(10):-

Mothers' acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for daughters in a country with a high prevalence of HPV
Alder S, Gustafsson S, Perinetti C, Mints M, Sundström K, Andersson S
Oncology reports 2015;33(5):2521-8

Quadrivalent HPV vaccination and risk of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system
Scheller Nm, Svanström H, Pasternak B, Arnheim-dahlström L, Sundström K, Fink K, et al
JAMA 2015;313(1):54-61

The Participation of HPV-Vaccinated Women in a National Cervical Screening Program: Population-Based Cohort Study
Herweijer E, Feldman Al, Ploner A, Arnheim-dahlström L, Uhnoo I, Netterlid E, et al
PloS one 2015;10(7):e0134185-

Current cervical cancer prevention strategies including cervical screening and prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccination: a review
Elfström Km, Herweijer E, Sundström K, Arnheim-dahlström L
Current opinion in oncology 2014;26(1):120-9

Loss of a parent and the risk of cancer in early life: a nationwide cohort study
Kennedy B, Valdimarsdóttir U, Sundström K, Sparén P, Lambe M, Fall K, et al
Cancer causes & control : CCC 2014;25(4):499-506

Acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among young women in a country with a high prevalence of HPV infection
Alder S, Perinetti C, Mints M, Belkić K, Sundström K, Sandin S, et al
International journal of oncology 2013;43(4):1310-8

Prospective study of HPV16 viral load and risk of in situ and invasive squamous cervical cancer
Sundström K, Ploner A, Dahlström La, Palmgren J, Dillner J, Adami Ho, et al
Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2013;22(1):150-8

Awareness and Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus in the Swedish Adult Population
Dahlstrom La, Sundstrom K, Young C, Lundholm C, Sparen P, Tran Tn

Assessing Perceived Risk and STI Prevention Behavior: A National Population-Based Study with Special Reference to HPV
Leval A, Sundstrom K, Ploner A, Dahlstrom La, Widmark C, Sparen P
PLOS ONE 2011;6(6):e20624-

Acceptability of HPV vaccination among young adults aged 18-30 years-a population based survey in Sweden
Sundstrom K, Tran Tn, Lundholm C, Young C, Sparen P, Dahlstrom La
VACCINE 2010;28(47):7492-500

Attitudes to HPV vaccination among parents of children aged 12-15 years-a population-based survey in Sweden
Dahlstrom La, Tran Tn, Lundholm C, Young C, Sundstrom K, Sparen P

Prospective study of human papillomavirus and risk of cervical adenocarcinoma
Dahlstrom La, Ylitalo N, Sundstrom K, Palmgren J, Ploner A, Eloranta S, et al

Prospective Study of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types, HPV Persistence, and Risk of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Cervix
Sundstrom K, Eloranta S, Sparen P, Dahlstrom La, Gunnell A, Lindgren A, et al

[Helicopters in health care can solve the logistics and strengthen the competence]
Sundstrom K, Svensén C
Lakartidningen 2009;106(17):1182-5

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