Research activities

The biological material from Janus Serum Bank is used in a wide range of research projects. An overview of ongoing and previous projects can be found here.
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Ongoing research projects

Employing the population-based Janus Serum Bank as ‘Time Machine’, to explore kidney and testicular cancer and their relationship with exposure to PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals that are classified as possibly carcinogenic. Some studies have reported an increased incidence of urological cancer when exposed to PFAS, but there is still a lack of documentation at the population level. In this project, we will study the connection between kidney and testicular cancer and exposure to PFAS. These forms of cancer have increased in incidence after PFAS were introduced in Norway. Historical samples from the Janus Serum Bank will be used to measure PFAS levels from more than 1,000 patients and an equally large control group. The connection between occupation and place of residence and possible molecular changes due to PFAS exposure will be investigated. Using mathematical modelling, PFAS levels in individuals will be investigated over time. The aim is to assess the risk posed by PFAS exposure, find possible exposure biomarkers and reference values ​​with a view to prevention.

The project is financed by the Norwegian Cancer Society and has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK no. 695237 REK south-east A) and the principal investigator is senior researcher Marcin Wojewodzic at the Cancer Registry of Norway.

miRNA as biomarkers in early detection and personalized treatment in overian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a disease with relatively poor survival - five years after the patient has been diagnosed, just slightly more than half of the women are still alive. Cancer in the surface layer of the ovaries is often detected late because the symptoms are diffuse and uncharacteristic, and the disease is therefore difficult to diagnose. There is also no effective strategy for early detection of this form of cancer.

Micro-RNA (miRNA) are molecules in the body's cells that have important tasks in regulating which genes are switched on and off (gene regulation).

Previous studies have shown promising results for selected miRNAs as possible early biomarkers for ovarian cancer. In this project, a validation of the relevant miRNA panel for the early detection of ovarian cancer will be carried out. The material to be included are serum samples from women who submitted a sample to the Janus serum bank prior to the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. These samples must then be compared with corresponding samples from women who have not developed cancer. The project is a European collaboration where biological material from several other cohorts will be included.

The study has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK), no. 551921 REK south-east A, and the project manager is senior researcher Renée Turzanski Fortner at the Norwegian Cancer Registry.

Prospective evaluation of biomarkers for early detection of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is increasing. Obesity is the biggest risk factor for developing cervical cancer and the disease has increased as the prevalence of obesity in the population increases. Early diagnosis increases survival, and 80% is diagnosed with an early stage. Most of these are cured. With higher stage, survival drops noticeably. The 5-year survival rate worldwide for cancer that has spread is only 16%. In Norway the survival rate is higher, with 42% survival.

In this study, we want to investigate 92 selected cancer-related proteins in serum samples from patients taken before they were diagnosed with cervical cancer and compare these with controls who are cancer-free. The aim is to find biomarkers that are differently expressed in those who have developed cancer compared to those who do not develop cancer. We will also evaluate a risk model that looks at the interaction between known risk factors and the expression of selected biomarkers. The study includes approximately 300 samples from the Janus serum bank in Norway and approx. 240 samples from the European cohort EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition). Information on age, date of diagnosis, histology, morphology, hormone treatment, removal of uterus, BMI and number of children must be included in the study.

The samples will be analyzed at a laboratory in Germany. If we manage to identify markers in the blood that can be early signs that cancer is developing, this can be of great value to patients who will then be able to receive the diagnosis at an early stage and thus increase survival. The study has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK), no. 509876 REK south-east C, and the project manager in Norway is Renée Turzanski Fortner.

Metabolic biomarkers in long-term stored serum samples

Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites. Metabolites are small molecular substrates, intermediates and products of the cells' metabolism (metabolism). The total collection of metabolites in a cell or biological sample is called the metabolome. Metabolomics is measured using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in human tissue or in body fluids such as blood and urine. These can act as important clinical biomarkers or provide a better biological understanding of several diseases. Metabolomics is increasingly used in research to shed light on the causes, prognosis and outcome of diseases such as cancer. In this regard, it is important to have detailed knowledge of the metabolome of the normal population. The metabolome can be used to say something about a person's total exposure (smoke, diet, etc.) throughout their life, and plays an important role in understanding the connection between different exposures and health outcomes. The metabolome can potentially identify population groups that may be exposed before an increased risk of serious diseases. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether long-term stored serum from the Janus Serum Bank can be used for large-scale metabolomics studies. We will include samples representing multiple collection periods and different sample treatments. To avoid consuming valuable material that could have been used in future cancer studies, we are currently focusing on serum from deceased people who never received a cancer diagnosis. Samples from 50 women and 50 men will be included in the study. The samples will be analyzed at the Nightingale laboratory in Finland. The project has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK), ref. no. 216391 REK south-east. Hilde Langseth at the Cancer Registry of Norway is the project leader.

PREDICT - an international study on the identification of early markers for ovarian cancer

In this project research data from previously analyzed samples from Janus Serum Bank will form part of an international study among patients with ovarian cancer (PREDICT). The purpose of the study is to identify early markers for ovarian cancer. The international group has received funding to carry out analyzes of data from several cohorts, and the Cancer Registry of Norway has been allocated funds for analyzes of miRNAs and other small RNAs in the existing data from the JanusRNA project. Through this collaboration, we will have the opportunity to compare data from a larger material, which strengthens the expressiveness of the results. Such cooperation also makes it possible to carry out validation studies. The project has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK), ref. no. 19892 REK south-east B. Hilde Langseth at the Cancer Registry of Norway is the project leader in Norway.

Risk of biliary tract cancer - a metabolomic multicentre study

Biliary tract cancer is a rare cancer, and the mortality rate is high. Metabolomics is a powerful tool for identifying new biomarkers for disease. To date, few metabolomic studies of biliary tract cancer risk have been conducted, and none have used biological samples collected prior to cancer diagnosis. The purpose of this study is to identify biomarkers for biliary tract cancer risk and improve the understanding of cancer biology and etiology. We want to investigate metabolites in the blood and how they are associated with the risk of biliary tract cancer. We will further investigate the interaction between the metabolites and lifestyle factors that affect the risk of bile duct cancer. In order to be able to include a sufficient number of research participants, this study will be conducted as a multicentre study, with over ten participating cohorts with a total of 1,500 patients with biliary tract cancer. From Janus Serum Bank, approximately 480 patients and 480 healthy controls will be included. The samples will be analyzed at a laboratory in the USA. The project has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK), ref. no. 50307 REK south-east D. Hilde Langseth at the Cancer Registry of Norway is the project leader in Norway.

 


Previous research projects

Examination of serum amino acids in patients with renal cell carsinoma

Principal Investigator: Hilde Langseth at the Cancer Registry of Norway

The impact of obesity and circulating small RNA in the development of endometrial cancer

Principal Investigator: Principal Investigator: Hilde Langseth at the Cancer Registry of Norway

The importance of DNA methylation in testicular cancer as a risk factor for the development of the disease

Principal Investigator: Tom Grotmol at the Cancer Registry of Norway

Investigations into viral causes of brain cancer

Principal Investigator: Kathleen M. Egan at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Circulating early markers for lung cancer

Principal Investigator: Renée Turzanski Fortner at the German Cancer Research Center

Immune markers and risk of multiple myeloma: a prospective study using samples from the Janus serum bank

Principal Investigator: Florentin Späth at Umeå University and Norrland University Hospital

Identification and validation of tumor-associated autoantibodies for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Principal Investigator: Rudolf Kaaks at the German Cancer Research Institute in Heidelberg

Effect of vitamin D and obesity on bladder cancer; risk and survival

Principal Investigator: Randi E. Gislefoss at the Cancer Registry of Norway

Biomarkers for Human Papillomavirus infection and risk of cancer

Principal Investigator: Mari Nygård at the Cancer Registry of Norway

Circulating sex hormone levels and the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma: a nested case-control study. 

Principal Investigator: Eivind Ness-Jensen, NTNU HUNT Research Centre  

Biomarkers of human papillomavirus infection and cancer risk within the NCI HPV cancer cohort consortium (HPVC3).

Principal Investigator: Paul Brennan, International Agency for Research on Cancer 

Identification of biomarkers for gallbladder cancer risk prediction- Towards personalized prevention of an orphan disease. 

Principal Investigator: Justo Lorenzo Bermejo, University of Heidelberg

Pooled Analysis of Insulin and Insulin-like Growth factor-I and Colorectal Cancer Risk 

Principal Investigator: Marc Gunter, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 

Small non-coding RNA and bladder cancer

Principal Investigator: Bettina Kulle Andreassen, Cancer Registry of Norway

Effect of multiple freeze-thaw cycles on selected serum components

Principal investigator: Randi E Gislefoss, Cancer Registry of Norway

Identification of Biomarkers for Indolent and Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Principal investigators: Kristin Taskén, Oslo University Hospital and Ian Mills, University of Oslo

Principal investigators for the pilot project using samples from the Janus Serumbank: Fahri Saatcioglu, Ian Mills and Bernd Thiede, University of Oslo 

Molecular mechanisms of androgen action and prostate carcinogenesis

Principal investigator: Fahri Saatcioglu, University of Oslo

Pre-diagnostic hormone levels and development of testicular germ cell tumors in the Janus Serum Bank Cohort

Principal investigators: Katherine McGlynn, National Cancer institute, USA and Elisabete Weiderpass Veinie, Cancer Registry of Norway

Development of testicular germ cell tumor - the role of mycotoxins and small noncoding RNAs

Principal investigators: Tom K Grimsrud and Tom Grotmol, Cancer Registry of Norway 

Genome-wide miRNA profiling in prediagnostic samples from Janus Serum Bank for early diagnosis, improved therapy and surveillance of cancer

Principal investigator: Hilde Langseth, Cancer Registry of Norway 

Endogenous hormones and prostate cancer

Principal investigator: Naomi Allen, University of Oxford, UK

Pre-diagnostic allergy and immune-related biomarkers in glioma risk and survival

Principal investigator: Judith Schwartzbaum, Ohio State University, USA and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Cohort based studies in Molecular Epidemiology of Brain tumors

Principal investigator: Beatrice Melin, Umeå University, Sweden

miRNA signatures in patients with colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer

Principal investigator: Eckart U Meese, Saarland University Hospital, Germany

Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project

Principal investigator: Louise Brinton, National Cancer Institute, USA

Serum Organochlorine levels and risk of selected cancers

Principal investigator: Larry Engel, National Cancer Institute and University of North Carolina, USA

Serum Organochlorine Levels and Primary Liver Cancer: a Nested Case-Control Study

Principal investigator: Larry Engel, National Cancer Institute and University of North Carolina, USA

Serum concentrations of polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbon chemicals and risk of thyroid cancer

Principal investigator: Mary Ward, National Cancer Institute, USA

HPV 16 antibodies in patients with oropharyngeal cancer

Principal investigator: Karen S. Anderson, Arizona State University, USA

A nested case-control study of hormonal risk factors and thyroid cancer in Janus

Principal investigator: Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, The University of Chicago, USA

Anti-Muellerian Hormone (AMH) and Ovarian Cancer Risk

Principal investigators: Nicolas Wentzensen, National Cancer Institute, USA and Elisabete Weiderpass Veinie Cancer Registry of Norway

Polyomavirus infection and lung cancer among non-smokers

Principal investigator: Paolo Boffetta, Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 
New York, USA

Immunological markers and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Principal investigator: Mark Purdue, National Cancer Institute, USA 

Risk factors for cancer in the Janus Serum Bank Cohort

Principal investigator: Hilde Langseth, Cancer Registry of Norway

Immunoprofiling assay to monitor systemic humoral immune response to the infection with the papillomavirus

Principal investigator: Mari Nygård, Cancer Registry of Norway

Vitamin D, obesity and cutaneous malignant melanoma: risk, survival and risk of subsequent cancers.

Principal investigator: Trude E Robsahm, Cancer Registry of Norway

Relationship between serum albumin-adjusted calcium and risk of ovarian cancer among Norwegian women participating in the JANUS serum bank

Principal investigator: Trude E Robsahm, Cancer Registry of Norway

Investigations of DNA- and RNA quality in long-term stored samples in the Janus Serum Bank

Principal investigator: Randi Gislefoss, Cancer Registry of Norway