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About me

I am a biostatistician, working with statistical methods for cancer epidemiology. My main research interest is cancer patient survival and I have published high impact studies on cancer patient survival for a range of cancer sites. I develop statistical methods, including user-friendly software to facilitate wide application of the methods, as well as apply the methods to register-based data to answer important epidemiological and clinical research questions. I believe that an important task for biostatisticians is to communicate the results from complicated statistical methods in a way that is understandable for other researchers, clinicians and healthcare policymakers. Therefore, I put a lot of emphasis on communication and presentation of complex methods in an understandable way. I’m currently working in several projects, a description of the projects I’m most heavily involved with currently are described below.

Education

  • 2013, PhD (Medical Sciences), Karolinska Institutet. Title of thesis: Quantifying cancer patient survival; extensions and applications of cure models and life expectancy estimation
  • 2007, MSc (Mathematical statistics), Uppsala University.

Postdoc

  • 2014 – 2015:  Postdoc at the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics (MEB), KI, working with Keith Humphreys. A project on models for breast cancer tumor growth, micro simulation of the natural history of breast cancer and mammography screening.
  • 2015 – 2016:  Postdoc at the department of Documentation & Quality, Danish Cancer Society working with Hans Storm and Gerda Engholm. A project on estimation of avoidable cancers in the Nordic countries.

Research description

Survival after hematological cancers, with a focus on MPN
I am part of a successful collaborative group of hematologists and biostatisticians at KI. We have been studying the prognosis of a range of hematological malignancies, many of the studies have been published in high-impact journals. I have lately taken a more senior role in the group, and given more responsibility for the research on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), as well as the methods development. Compared to many other hematological malignancies MPNs are rather indolent diseases. Despite efforts to optimize treatment and prophylactic measures, patients with MPNs have a shorter survival than the general population and experience complications, such as thromboembolism and bleedings, due to their MPN. There are few population-based studies on MPNs, and most studies are small with short follow-up time and do not include population controls. It is therefore of great importance to gain a further understanding of the disease trajectory and risk of complications for this group of patients. By taking advantage of the Swedish health registers and novel statistical methods, we will improve the understanding of the clinical course and prognosis among MPN patients.

 

International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership
I am working within a high profile international collaborative project on cancer patient survival, the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, run by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon in collaboration with renowned experts in the field. The ICBP is an international cancer survival comparison study focused on measuring differences and understanding factors that drive these. I am investigating how much of differences observed in population-based cancer patient survival between countries that is due to differences in reporting to the cancer registries. There are for example differences in the definition of date of diagnosis, definitions and inclusion of multiple primaries and death certificate initiated cases. This is investigated using simulations as well as by analyzing register-based data.

 

Avoidable cancers in the Nordic countries

This is a continuation of my postdoc at the Danish Cancer Society, working in a Nordic project on avoidable cancers. The aim of this project is to estimate how much of the future cancer burden in the Nordic countries is avoidable by changes in the prevalence of overweight/obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity. We estimate the population attributable fractions (PAFs) of the four mentioned risk factors on (various sites of) cancer as well as 30-year projections of cancer incidence under different interventions to change risk factor prevalence.

 

Current doctoral students

  • Co-supervisor of Anna Ravn Landtblom, registered at Department of Medicine, Solna, KI in Dec 2016.
  • Co-supervisor of Maximilian Zoltek, registered at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, KI in May 2017.
  • Co-supervisor of Qianwei Liu with planned registration at MEB Spring 2018.

Former PhD students

  • Co-supervisor of Hannah Bower, dissertation March 23 2018.

Teaching portfolio

I have been involved in teaching and/or course organising of:

  • Survival analysis (biostat III), within the Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology
  • Data Management within epidemiological research, including lectures on laws and regulations concerning the use of personal data in research
  • Competing risks and multistate models
  • IARC summer school on cancer epidemiology, module 1, cancer survival methods for cancer registries, June 2015, Lyon, France.
  • Summer school on modern methods in biostatistics and epidemiology. Survival analysis using Stata (a 1-day course) and Statistical Methods for Population-based Cancer Survival (a 1-week course). Treviso, Italy.
  • Workshops on epidemiological designs and cancer survival analysis
  • Pre-conference courses on Statistical Methods for Population-based Cancer Survival
  • Biostatistics/evidence based medicine within the medical program at KI
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