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Oluf Dimitri Røe

Malignant mesothelioma – epidemiology and molecular biology

Handout (pdf 93 p)

Handout (24 p)


Asbestos (Greek, inextinguishable) is the term of a family of naturally occurring minerals that have been used in small scale since ancient times. Industrialization demanded increased mining and refining in the 20th century and in 1960, Wagner, Sleggs and Marchand from South Africa linked asbestos to mesothelioma, paving the way to the current knowledge about the etiology, epidemiology and biology of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is one of the most lethal cancers with increasing incidence worldwide. This overview will give some snap-shots of the history of pleural mesothelioma discovery and the body of epidemiological and biological research including some of the controversies and unresolved questions. Translational research is currently unravelling novel biomarkers for earlier diagnosis and novel treatment targets.  Current break-through discoveries of clinically promising non-invasive circulating biomarkers as the 13-protein signature, the microRNAs and the BAP1 mesothelioma/cancer syndrome are highlighted. The asbestos history is a lesson to not be repeated, but here we also review recent in vivo and in vitro studies showing that man-made carbon nano-fibres could pose a similar danger to human health. This should be taken seriously by regulatory bodies to ensure thorough testing of novel materials before release in the society.


Education: Specialist in Oncology (Medical and Radiation Oncology) 2007
PhD Dissertation 2008 Faculty of Medicine, NTNU, Title of Thesis:
Malignant mesothelioma: Virus, Biomarkers and Genes. A Translational Approach

Brief Scientific profile
My main research interests have been a combination of clinical and basic cancer research (translational), including biomarkers for early detection of cancer, predictive and prognostic biomarkers, genome-wide analysis and mechanisms of treatment resistance. The research has been focused on mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, but recently also lung and gastric cancer. Author or coauthor of 32 scientific peer reviewed papers and several international invited lectures.

Professional experiences after graduation
Internship Gjøvik County Hospital and Kautokeino Commune , Norway1990-91
General Practitioner in Kautokeino- Samiland, Norway 1992-94
General Practitioner in Mykonos, Greece (Norwegian/Greek MD licence) 1994-2001
MD, Departments of Oncology/Haematology/Lung Diseases, St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway 2001-10
Research fellow Nanjing Medical University, translational research in mesothelioma and lung cancer, Nov.2010- May 2011-Feb /Nov/Dec 2012
Consultant Oncologist, Cancer Clinic, Department of Surgery, Levanger Hospital, Levanger, Norway May 2011- present
Research Oncologist, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Trondheim, Norway Sept. 2010- present
Post-doc, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Trondheim, Norway
Jan 2012- present
Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Aalborg University Hospital, July 2013- present

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