Evaluation of Medicine and Health (EVALMEDHELSE) 2023-2024


This group conducts research within cancer treatment and rehabilitation.

Research group's organization

The Oncology Research Group (ORG) has been collaboratively involved in various research projects since around 2015. However, it was formally established in 2022 after successfully applying for research funding from the Norwegian Cancer Society. Led by the Head of Research at The Clinic for Cancer Treatment and Rehabilitation (KKR), the group consists of two researchers, three research nurses, a PhD student, and a statistician. Additionally, there is collaboration with an Associate Professor and two PhD students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Health Sciences Ålesund (IHA).

The group also includes two 40% and one 20% research coordinators, with one coordinator based in Kristiansund, while the rest of the members are in Ålesund. All members are employed at the Clinic for Cancer Treatment and Rehabilitation, except for the statistician. The group primarily relies on project-based funding.

With a focus on clinical research activities, strengthening research networks, increasing research knowledge, and recruiting PhD students, the ORG has developed a research strategy to guide its endeavors.

Research group's strategy

The Clinic for Cancer Treatment and Rehabilitation (KKR) has developed a Research Strategy (2021-2025) aligned with Helse Møre og Romsdal's overarching research strategy. KKR aims to seamlessly integrate research into clinical activities to improve patient care and enhance knowledge dissemination. The strategy focuses on careful project selection, innovation, increasing research competence, improving infrastructure, and fostering collaboration with internal and external partners.

The main objectives include making research a routine part of clinical practice, improving dissemination, increasing efficiency, and strengthening collaboration, with an emphasis on applying for internal and external research funding.


Aksnessæther BY, Lund J, Myklebust T, Klepp OH, Skovlund E, Roth Hoff S, Solberg A. Second cancers in radically treated Norwegian prostate cancer patients. Acta Oncol. 2019;58(6):838-44. https://doi.org/10.1080/0284186x.2019.1581377


Aksnessæther BY, Myklebust T, Solberg A, Klepp OH, Skovlund E, Hoff SR, et al. Second Cancers in Patients With Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer Randomized to Lifelong Endocrine Treatment With or Without Radical Radiation Therapy: Long-Term Follow-up of the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group-7 Trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020;106(4):706-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.11.027


Aksnessæther BY, Myklebust T, Solberg A, Klepp OH, Skovlund E, Hoff SR, et al. In Reply to Sari et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020;107(2):388-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.02.027


Aksnessæther BY, Solberg A, Klepp OH, Myklebust T, Skovlund E, Hoff SR, et al. Does Prophylactic Radiation Therapy to Avoid Gynecomastia in Patients With Prostate Cancer Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018;101(1):211-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.01.096


Brenne AT, Knudsen AK, Raj SX, Skjelvan L, Lund J, Thronæs M, et al. Fully Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Services at a Local Hospital in Mid-Norway: Development and Operation of an Innovative Care Delivery Model. Pain Ther. 2020;9(1):297-318. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40122-020-00163-7


Brenne AT, Løhre ET, Knudsen AK, Thronæs M, Lund J, Kongshaug N, et al. Implementing a Standardized Care Pathway Integrating Oncology, Palliative Care and Community Care in a Rural Region of Mid-Norway. Oncol Ther. 2021;9(2):671-93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40487-021-00176-y


Brenne AT, Nordbø A, Steine S, Fasting A, Berglund MA, Røynstrand E, Hjorth NE. [Palliative treatment of patients with COVID-19]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2020;140(7). https://doi.org/10.4045/tidsskr.20.0276


Driller B, Talseth-Palmer B, Hole T, Strømskag KE, Brenne AT. Cancer patients spend more time at home and more often die at home with advance care planning conversations in primary health care: a retrospective observational cohort study. BMC Palliat Care. 2022;21(1):61. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-022-00952-1


Elvebakken H, Perren A, Scoazec JY, Tang LH, Federspiel B, Klimstra DS, et al. A Consensus-Developed Morphological Re-Evaluation of 196 High-Grade Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms and Its Clinical Correlations. Neuroendocrinology. 2021;111(9):883-94. https://doi.org/10.1159/000511905


Fasting A, Hetlevik I, Mjølstad BP. Palliative care in general practice; a questionnaire study on the GPs role and guideline implementation in Norway. BMC Fam Pract. 2021;22(1):64. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-021-01426-8


Fasting A, Hetlevik I, Mjølstad BP. Finding their place - general practitioners' experiences with palliative care-a Norwegian qualitative study. BMC Palliat Care. 2022;21(1):126. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-022-01015-1


Fluge Ø, Rekeland IG, Lien K, Thürmer H, Borchgrevink PC, Schäfer C, et al. B-Lymphocyte Depletion in Patients With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2019;170(9):585-93. https://doi.org/10.7326/m18-1451


Fosså SD, Dahl AA, Myklebust T, Kiserud CE, Nome R, Klepp OH, et al. Risk of positive selection bias in longitudinal surveys among cancer survivors: Lessons learnt from the national Norwegian Testicular Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer Epidemiol. 2020;67:101744. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101744


Habberstad R, Frøseth TCS, Aass N, Abramova T, Baas T, Mørkeset ST, et al. The Palliative Radiotherapy and Inflammation Study (PRAIS) - protocol for a longitudinal observational multicenter study on patients with cancer induced bone pain. BMC Palliat Care. 2018;17(1):110. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-018-0362-9


Habberstad R, Frøseth TCS, Aass N, Bjerkeset E, Abramova T, Garcia-Alonso E, et al. Clinical Predictors for Analgesic Response to Radiotherapy in Patients with Painful Bone Metastases. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2021;62(4):681-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.03.022


Halkett GKB, Wigley CA, Aoun SM, Portaluri M, Tramacere F, Livi L, et al. International validation of the EORTC QLQ-PRT20 module for assessment of quality of life symptoms relating to radiation proctitis: a phase IV study. Radiat Oncol. 2018;13(1):162. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13014-018-1107-x


Helland Å, Russnes HG, Fagereng GL, Al-Shibli K, Andersson Y, Berg T, et al. Improving public cancer care by implementing precision medicine in Norway: IMPRESS-Norway. J Transl Med. 2022;20(1):225. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-022-03432-5


Helland Å, Russnes HG, Fagereng GL, Al-Shibli K, Andersson Y, Berg T, et al. Correction to: Improving public cancer care by implementing precision medicine in Norway: IMPRESS-Norway. J Transl Med. 2022;20(1):317. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-022-03518-0


Hellesnes R, Kvammen Ø, Myklebust T, Bremnes RM, Karlsdottir Á, Negaard HFS, et al. Continuing increased risk of second cancer in long-term testicular cancer survivors after treatment in the cisplatin era. Int J Cancer. 2020;147(1):21-32. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32704


Hellesnes R, Myklebust T, Bremnes RM, Karlsdottir Á, Kvammen Ø, Negaard HFS, et al. Metachronous Contralateral Testicular Cancer in the Cisplatin Era: A Population-Based Cohort Study. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(4):308-18. https://doi.org/10.1200/jco.20.02713


Hellesnes R, Myklebust T, Fosså SD, Bremnes RM, Karlsdottir Á, Kvammen Ø, et al. Testicular Cancer in the Cisplatin Era: Causes of Death and Mortality Rates in a Population-Based Cohort. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(32):3561-73. https://doi.org/10.1200/jco.21.00637


Jensen CA, Roa AMA, Johansen M, Lund J, Frengen J. Robustness of VMAT and 3DCRT plans toward setup errors in radiation therapy of locally advanced left-sided breast cancer with DIBH. Phys Med. 2018;45:12-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmp.2017.11.019


Kvammen Ø, Myklebust T, Solberg A, Møller B, Klepp OH, Fosså SD, Tandstad T. Causes of inferior relative survival after testicular germ cell tumor diagnosed 1953-2015: A population-based prospective cohort study. PLoS One. 2019;14(12):e0225942. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225942


Mørkeset ST, Lervåg C, Lund J, Jensen C. Clinical experience of volumetric-modulated flattening filter free stereotactic body radiation therapy of lesions in the lung with deep inspiration breath-hold. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2022;23(9):e13733. https://doi.org/10.1002/acm2.13733


Sandmæl JA, Bye A, Solheim TS, Balstad TR, Thorsen L, Skovlund E, et al. Physical rehabilitation in patients with head and neck cancer: Impact on health-related quality of life and suitability of a post-treatment program. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2020;5(2):330-8. https://doi.org/10.1002/lio2.368


Selnæs KM, Krüger-Stokke B, Elschot M, Johansen H, Steen PA, Langørgen S, et al. Detection of Recurrent Prostate Cancer With (18)F-Fluciclovine PET/MRI. Front Oncol. 2020;10:582092. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.582092


Skorpen Tarberg A, Landstad BJ, Hole T, Thronaes M, Kvangarsnes M. Nurses' experiences of compassionate care in the palliative pathway. J Clin Nurs. 2020;29(23-24):4818-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15528


Skåre TS, Midtbust MH, Lund J, Kaasa S, Dreyer A. Barriers and Facilitators When Implementing Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome Measures at a Municipal Cancer Care Unit: A Qualitative Study. Cancer Nurs. 2023;46(4):E268-e75. https://doi.org/10.1097/ncc.0000000000001120


Tarberg AS, Kvangarsnes M, Hole T, Thronæs M, Madssen TS, Landstad BJ. Silent voices: Family caregivers' narratives of involvement in palliative care. Nurs Open. 2019;6(4):1446-54. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.344


Tarberg AS, Thronaes M, Landstad BJ, Kvangarsnes M, Hole T. Physicians' perceptions of patient participation and the involvement of family caregivers in the palliative care pathway. Health Expect. 2022;25(4):1945-53. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.13551


Tøndel H, Lund J, Lydersen S, Wanderås AD, Aksnessæther B, Jensen CA, et al. Radiotherapy for prostate cancer - Does daily image guidance with tighter margins improve patient reported outcomes compared to weekly orthogonal verified irradiation? Results from a randomized controlled trial. Radiother Oncol. 2018;126(2):229-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2017.10.029


Tøndel H, Lund J, Lydersen S, Wanderås AD, Aksnessæther BY, Jensen CA, et al. Dose to penile bulb is not associated with erectile dysfunction 18 months post radiotherapy: A secondary analysis of a randomized trial. Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 2018;13:50-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2018.09.006


Tøndel H, Lund J, Solberg A. Response to Alongi et al. Radiother Oncol. 2018;128(2):391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2018.05.008


Tøndel H, Solberg A, Lydersen S, Jensen CA, Kaasa S, Lund J. Rectal volume variations and estimated rectal dose during 8 weeks of image-guided radical 3D conformal external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 2019;15:113-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2019.02.003


Venizelos A, Elvebakken H, Perren A, Nikolaienko O, Deng W, Lothe IMB, et al. The molecular characteristics of high-grade gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2021;29(1):1-14. https://doi.org/10.1530/erc-21-0152


Venizelos A, Engebrethsen C, Deng W, Geisler J, Geisler S, Iversen GT, et al. Clonal evolution in primary breast cancers under sequential epirubicin and docetaxel monotherapy. Genome Med. 2022;14(1):86. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-022-01090-2


Wagner M, Steinskog ES, Wiig H. Blockade of Lymphangiogenesis Shapes Tumor-Promoting Adipose Tissue Inflammation. Am J Pathol. 2019;189(10):2102-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.06.010


Project 1: "MATRIX", Oslo University Hospital. To extend the lives and improve the quality of life of patients with hard-to-treat cancers WP’s: 1. Next-generation cancer diagnostics and biomarkers. WP 2: Tumour directed treatment. WP 3: Patient-centred care WP 4: Clinical trial engine WP5: Health care organization and implementation. Norwegian Centre for Clinical Cancer Research - Matrix (matrix-fkb.no)

Project 2: "ICBP Survmark 2", International Agency for Cancer on Research (IARC). Objective: to benchmark cancer survival between high-income countries worldwide. Home — ICBP SURVMARK-2 (iarc.fr) 

Project 3: PhD project Hege Elvebakken/"High-Grade Digestive Neuroendocrine Neoplasms. Impact of Genetic Alterations and Morphological Characteristics on Outcome of First-Line Palliative Chemotherapy" (2018-2023), University of Bergen, NTNU and Møre and Romsdal Hospital Trust. The aim of this doctorate was to increase knowledge about NET G3 and NEC with the hope of finding factors that can contribute to more effective cancer treatment and thereby increase survival for these patients. Result #2218263 - High-grade digestive neuroendocrine neoplasms. Impact of genetic alterations and morphologicalcharacteristics on outcome of first-line palliative chemotherapy - Cristin 

Project 4: PhD project Bjørg Yksnøy Aksnessæther/ "Other Primary Cancers Among Norwegian Prostate Cancer Patients, Incidence and Risk factors" (2016-2021), Møre and Romsdal Hospital Trust, NTNU. 

This thesis is based on three studies that have investigated secondary cancer after prostate cancer treatment, with a particular focus on secondary cancer after radiotherapy. 
Dissertation only available in Norwegian. The academic articles forming the basis of the dissertation are available in English: 

Aksnessæther, Bjørg Y., et al. "Second cancers in radically treated Norwegian prostate cancer patients." Acta Oncologica 58.6 (2019): 838-844. https://doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2019.1581377  


Aksnessæther, Bjørg Y., et al. "Second cancers in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer randomized to lifelong endocrine treatment with or without radical radiation therapy: long-term follow-up of the scandinavian prostate cancer group-7 trial." International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics 106.4 (2020): 706-714. 



Tøndel, Hanne, et al. "Radiotherapy for prostate cancer–Does daily image guidance with tighter margins improve patient reported outcomes compared to weekly orthogonal verified irradiation? Results from a randomized controlled trial." Radiotherapy and Oncology 126.2 (2018): 229-235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2017.10.029  


Aksnessæther, Bjørg Y., et al. "Does prophylactic radiation therapy to avoid gynecomastia in patients with prostate cancer increase the risk of breast cancer?." International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics 101.1 (2018): 211-216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.01.096  


Tøndel, Hanne, et al. "Dose to penile bulb is not associated with erectile dysfunction 18 months post radiotherapy: A secondary analysis of a randomized trial." Clinical and translational radiation oncology 13 (2018): 50-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2018.09.006  

Project 5: Bardo Driller PhD project/ "Improved End-of-Life Care - Planning and Collaboration Between Oncology-, Community-, and Palliative care" (2018-2024), Møre and Romsdal Hospital Trust, NTNU. The project researches systematically providing planning conversations and a palliative plan in primary health care for palliative cancer patients in HMR. The aim is to find out whether this increases the time the patients and their next of kin can spend at home, and how they perceive their time at home, if this reduces their symptomatic burden, increases their quality of life, with a focus on their last 3 months of living.  

Driller, Bardo, et al. "Cancer patients spend more time at home and more often die at home with advance care planning conversations in primary health care: a retrospective observational cohort study." BMC Palliative Care 21.1 (2022): 61. 


Kolstrøm, Adriana, Bardo Driller, and Elin Margrethe Aasen. "From difficulty to meaning–Experiences of patients with advanced cancer having advance care planning conversations and a palliative care plan." European Journal of Oncology Nursing 67 (2023): 102456. 


Several more articles have been produced under this project, but these are only available in Norwegian.  


Project 6: Marit Husby PhD project/ "Cancer Risk and Prognosis in Sepsis Survivors – Population-Based Studies in Norway"(2022-2026), Møre and Romsdal Hospital Trust, NTNU and Molde University College.

The main aim of the project is to gain new knowledge about the role of sepsis in cancer risk and prognosis to improve prevention of cancer related morbidity, disability, and mortality.  

  1. Explorative analysis using data from national health registers  

Research question RQ1: Do overall cancer incidence and mortality differ among sepsis survivors compared to population controls?  

Research question RQ2: Do the incidence and mortality of specific types of cancer differ among sepsis survivors compared to population controls?  

  1. Prospective analysis using population-based cohorts linked with national health registers (research hypotheses will be guided by results in RQ1-2) 

There are no publications available from this project yet.  

Project 7: "Prostate CAG - Standardizing Prostate Cancer Care: An Integrated Network for Patient Management and Research", St. Olavs Hospital Trust, NTNU.

The project aims to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer by focusing on solutions that provide a better selection of patients entering a patient pathway for prostate cancer, and to improve the treatment selection so that patients who need treatment receive it at the right time. The project encompasses three work packages covering diagnostics, treatment and randomized clinical trials. It includes the development of a prospective regional register of prostate biopsy-related infections, risk calculators and decision support tools for diagnostics based on artificial intelligence (AI) and the development of biomarkers. Etablerte CAG i Midt-Norge - Helse Midt-Norge RHF (helse-midt.no) (only available in norwegian) 

Project 8: "IMPRESS-NORWAY", Oslo University Hospital.IMPRESS-Norway is a large national clinical study in which patients with advanced cancer can be assessed for treatment with targeted treatment without indication. All patients can be referred to the study and have an extended molecular screening performed with analysis of at least 500 genes. If we identify a genetic change or a characteristic that may indicate that the patient will be able to benefit from a drug in the study, the patient can be included in a treatment cohort.  Project #2507392 - IMPRESS-Norway - Cristin 


NB! The Cristin links redirect to the Norwegian version of the page. In order to read the information in English, click "English" in the upper right corner of the Cristin page.

Members with a doctorate degree

Jo-Åsmund Lund (Cristin, NTNU)

Bjørg Aksnessæther (Cristin)

Øivind Kvammen (Cristin)

Hege Elvebakken (Cristin)

Eli Sihn Samdal Steinskog (Cristin)

Tor Åge Myklebust (Cristin)

PhD candidates

Bardo Driller (Cristin)

Anne Fasting (Cristin)

Marit Husby (Cristin)

Sist oppdatert 05.02.2024