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Image: Mikael Lundgren

Maria Sandström lab

Research group Malignant gliomas are the most common group of brain tumors in adults and affect about 500 people annually in Sweden. Malignant gliomas consist of several different types of gliomas, where glioblastoma is most severe with a median survival of only 1-2 years. Our research aim to develop methods that at an earlier stage than today can predict how patients respond to treatment.

One reason for median survival of only 1-2 years despite modern treatment, is that evaluation of treatment effect is largely dependent on measurements of tumor size of X-rays or MRI images.

Since tumor shrinkage as a result of treatment is a relatively late process, the evaluation can be done no earlier than about 1-2 months after treatment. For a patient with malignant glioma, who receives 6 weeks of combination therapy with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, this means that evaluation of treatment can be performed at the earliest about 3 months after the start of treatment.

This means that a patient may be subject to a potentially idle treatment — which may be associated with side effects — for much of their remaining life. Another aspect is that potentially favorable treatment is at risk of not being able to be deployed in time.

Our research aims are to develop methods that at a much earlier stage than today can predict how patients respond to treatment. Another purpose is to see how the patient's cognitive abilities are affected by the treatment. 70 patients are planned to participate in the HALO study, of which 40 are with glioblastoma (WHO Grade IV) and 30 with glioma WHO Grade II-III.

Head of research

Maria Sandström
Associate professor, senior consultant (attending) physician


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Radiation Sciences

Research area


Research projects

Latest update: 2022-06-20