Shaohua Xie

Shaohua Xie

Principal Researcher | Docent
Visiting address: Nobels väg 7, 17165 Solna
Postal address: K1 Molekylär medicin och kirurgi, K1 MMK Övre GI-kirurgi, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • Shaohua Xie is Principal Researcher and /Docent /in Cancer Epidemiology
    working in the research group of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department
    of Molecular Medicine and Surgery.
    Shaohua Xie is member of the Reference Group for International Affairs of
    Karolinska Institutet and has been mainly involved in alumni activities.
    Cancerfonden (Swedish Cancer Society), 2020-2022, 1 800 000 SEK (Principle
    Clinical Scientist Training Programme (CSTP), 2018-2022, 1 280 000 SEK (Main
    applicant as a PhD supervisor)
    Ihred Fund, the Swedish Society of Medicine, 2016-2020, 505 000 SEK
    (Principle investigator)
    Ruth and Richard Julin Foundation, 2016-2021, 700 000 SEK (Principle
    KI Research Foundation Grant, 2016-2020, 132 200 SEK (Principle
    Research environment grant within register-based research, Swedish Research
    Council, 2019 - 2023, 13 000 000 SEK (Co-investigator)
    Cancer Research UK, 2018 - 2020, 161, 138 GBP (Co-investigator)
    China - Sweden Network Grant for Research Collaboration, the Swedish Research
    Council, 2016 - 2017, 700 000 SEK (Co-investigator)
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, 2011 - 2013, 370, 000 CNY
  • 2012
    - 2013, 160, 000 CNY
  • 2014 - 2017, 700, 000 CNY (Co-investigator)
    *Other Awards*
    Tongji Medical College Overseas Alumni Association - Sehngquan Zou
    Outstanding Clinical
    Junior Research Award (2020)
    Global Scholarship Program for Research Excellence - CNOOC Grants and trained
    at Harvard School of Public Health in 2012, 30 000 HKD
    Research Postgraduate Students' Research / Conference Grant, The Jockey Club
    School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong
    Kong, 2009-2013 , 40 000 HKD
    2013 PhD in Public Health, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong
    Kong SAR, China
    *Thesis title: *Domestic Incense Burning and the Risk of Nasopharyngeal
    Carcinoma: A Case-Referent Study among Hong Kong Chinese
    *Supervisors:* Prof. Ignatius Tak-sun Yu (main supervisor) &
  • Prof. Shelly
    Lap-Ah Tse
    2007 Bachelor of Medicine in Preventive Medicine (major), Huazhong
    University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
    2007 Bachelor of Arts in English (minor), Huazhong University of
    Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
    *Other trainings*
    2020.11 - 2021.06 Professional Certificate in
    Pharmacoepidemiology &
  • Pharmacovigilance, London School of Hygiene &
  • Tropical
    2012.03 - 2012.06 Visiting Scientist at Harvard School of Public
    Health, Boston, USA (Hosted by Prof. Alex Chensheng Lu)
    2009.04 Yale - China CDC Workshop on
    Environmental Epidemiology, Suzhou, China


  • My research interests focus on cancer epidemiology. I am currently
    working on the epidemiology of upper gastrointestinal cancers, particularly
    that of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
    I am also interested in the epidemiology of other types of cancers
    and environmental health issues.
    *Trends and Disparities in Oesophageal and Gastric Cancers*
    I have been interested in the time trends and disparities across regions and
    social groups in oesophageal and gastric cancers. We have assessed the time
    trends in the incidence of these cancer in Sweden and in other parts of the
    world (*/Cancer Epidemol/* 2016, 2017
  • */Int J Cancer/* 2017
  • */Clin
    Epidemiol/* 2018
  • */Acta Oncol/* 2018). We have reviewed existing literature
    on the social group disparities in the incidence and prognosis of oesophageal
    cancer (*/United European Gastroenterol J/* 2018). Our recent study found
    considerable geographic disparities in the incidence and tumour stage
    distribution of oesophageal cancer in Sweden (*/Scand J Gastroenterol/*
    2020). We also finished quantitative analyses of the racial/ethnic
    disparities in the incidence of oesophageal and gastric cancers in the United
    States, using a panel of health disparity measures (*/Am J Epidemiol/*
  • */ Cancer Res Treat/* 2019).
    *The Mysterious Male Predominance in Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma*
    Oesophageal adenocarcinoma is characterised by a marked and enigmatic sex
    difference in incidence, with the male-to-female incidence ratio as high as
    8-to-1 in Northern America and 6-to-1 in Europe. Sex hormonal factors may
    play a role in the development of this cancer. I have summarised the existing
    evidence on this topic in my review article (*/Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol/*
    2016). My research has been focused on disentangling this mysterious male
    predominance in oesophageal adenocarcinoma and the role of sex hormonal
    exposures, with different epidemiological approaches. Particularly, in a
    case-control study nested in a prospective Norwegian cohort and a
    meta-analysis of existing studies, we found a decreased risk of oesophageal
    adenocarcinoma associated with higher testosterone levels in men (*/Am J
    Gastroenterol/* 2020). Our Mendelian randomisation analysis revealed causal
    effects of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone on the risk
    of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (*/Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol/* 2020).
    *Diabetes and Metformin Use in Relation to Oesophageal and Gastric Cancers*
    Diabetes and common anti-diabetes medications may influence the risk and
    prognosis of cancer. We are particularly interested in the role of diabetes
    and use the first-line anti-diabetes drug metformin in oesophageal and
    gastric cancers. We have examined the association how diabetes influence the
    risk and prognosis of gastric adenocarcinoma in population-based cohorts in
    Sweden (*/Br J Surg/* 2018
  • */Br J Cancer/* 2019). To investigate common
    medications in relation to cancer risk and other health outcomes, we have
    established a nationwide cohort of 8.4 million users of selected common
    medications, using data from several health data registers in Sweden */(BMJ
    Open/* 2019). We have found that metformin use may decrease risk of
    oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma but not gastric cancer (*/Br J Cancer/*
  • */Am J Gastroenterol/* 2020).
    *Precision Prevention of Oesophageal Cancer*
    Oesophageal cancer carries a poor prognosis, with an overall 5-year survival
    below 15-20%. Upper endoscopy is increasingly utilized for detection of the
    premalignant conditions which might improve survival. However, a universal
    screening strategy is not feasible given the considerable costs and risk of
    complications, and the low incidence of oesophageal cancer. Identifying a
    limited group of individuals at high absolute risk of oesophageal cancer for
    endoscopic screening would be more favourable. We have been developing and
    validating risk prediction models for oesophageal cancer based on information
    on a panel of readily identifiable risk factors, and evaluating the
    feasibility of targeted screening based on individual risk assessment (*/Int
    J Cancer/* 2016
  • */Epidemiology/* 2017
  • */Am J Gastroenterol/* 2018
  • */Clin
    Gastroenterol Hepatol/* 2018
  • */Gastrointest Endosc/* 2018

  • */Gastroenterology/* 2019
  • */Am J Gastroenterol /*2020.). We have also
    developed a model predicting long-term survival in patients who have
    undergone oesophageal cancer surgery (*/Ann Surg/* 2021).
    Successful prevention of oesophageal cancer is dependent on availability of
    effective preventive measures or interventions. In a systematic review and
    meta-analysis of 52 studies, we have found that smoking cessation
    time-dependently decreases risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, but
    has limited influence on the risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (*/J Natl
    Cancer Inst /*2017).
    "*Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma Risk Assessment Tool*" and "*Prediction of
    survival after esophageal cancer surgery*" are available through the links on
    the left.


  • *Supervision*
    I am currently main supervisor of a PhD student, Sirus Rabbani, in our
    research group.
    I was co-supervisor of two PhD candidate, Drs. Jiaojiao Zheng and Qiaoli
    Wang, who successfully defended her thesis in 2021 and 2020, respectively, at
    Karolinska Institutet.
    *I warmly welcome medical and master students to carry out their degree
    projects with me. *Medical students who worked with me have authored
    publications in scientific journals, including Am J Gastroenterol and Am J
    Study design in clinical research (KI PhD course 2980, previously 1794)


All other publications


  • Principal Researcher, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, 2022-

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2020


  • Jiaojiao Zheng, Diabetes, metformin and gastric adenocarcinoma, 2017

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