Skip to main content

Upper GI, liver, pancreas group

Group name
Pathology of the upper gastrointestinal tract, liver, and pancreas (UGI)

Group leader
Sönke Detlefsen (contact person)

Group description
This is a multidisciplinary research group, consisting of pathologists, M.Sc. students (mainly medicine and biomedicine), molecular biologists, and residents in pathology. Also gastroenterologists and abdominal surgeons are sometimes part of the group. Sönke Detlefsen is co-founding member and board member of Odense Pancreas Center (, co-founding member of Odense PIPAC Center (, and pathologist at Odense Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center (CHI). Besides, the UGI group collaborates with Odense liver fibrosis research center (FLASH - and with several other departments at Odense University Hospital (OUH) and at University of Southern Denmark (SDU) as well.

Introduction to research area
The field of diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas has evolved and expanded rapidly during recent years. This has led to a general increased research activity in the field. The UGI group aims to facilitate research within all areas of UGI related diseases. However, current focus areas are described below.

The UGI research group aims to identify new prognostic and predictive biomarkers of pancreatic and gastric cancer. Besides, the group is interested in a better understanding of the process of tumor-stroma interaction in pancreatic cancer. Other focus areas are the histological evaluation of therapy response – for example in pancreatic cancer, peritoneal metastasis, gastric cancer, and colorectal liver metastases. Besides, several ongoing projects deal with histomorphometry of fibrogenesis and fibrosis in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (FLD).

Research topics
Examples of ongoing studies:
Mutation profiling of ampullary cancer
Mutation profiling of peritoneal metastasis from pancreatic cancer before and after therapy
Mismatch repair protein deficiency in pancreatic cancer (PC)
Typing and molecular pathology of intraductal-papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) of the pancreas
Genetic markers predictive of familial pancreatic cancer and hereditary pancreatitis (collaboration with the Department of Gastroenterology and the Department of Clinical Genetics, OUH)
Circulating tumor DNA as a new tool for non-invasive assessment of tumor load and dissemination in patients with gastric and pancreatic cancer collaboration with the Department of Clinical Genetics, OUH)
Digital imaging analysis for quantification of stromal markers in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease  
Reproducibility of a new tumour regression grading system incorporating grading of response in metastatic lymph nodes in patients with gastric cancer (international collaborative study)
 Role of immunohistochemistry for the reproducibility of the PRGS score for therapy response assessment in peritoneal metastasis 
Colorectal liver metastases: Development of a novel, minimal invasive method for histological response evaluation and mutation analysis (collaboration with the Department of Surgery, Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) Section, OUH)

Cytology and immunocytochemistry
Digital pathology and digital imaging analysis
Double- and multiplex immunostaining
Laser-microdissection (LMD)
Western blotting
Cell culture studies
Electron microscopy
Next-generation sequencing (NGS)


Last Updated 02.11.2020