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Associate professor Morten Gjerstorff


  Associate professor Morten Frier Gjerstorff
   Cancer and Inflammation Research
  Phone +45 21261563

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Improving immunotherapy of breast cancer

The mortality rate among women with metastatic breast cancer remains high, but breakthrough developments with immunotherapy in other cancer types have provided hope for better treatment of this disease. Current evidence suggests that although breast cancer patients are indeed amenable to immunotherapy, improved strategies to enhance the ability of the immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells may be critical for successful immune prevention of breast cancer. Immune T cells can eliminate cancer cells upon recognition of specific abnormalities (i.e. tumor antigens) on their surface, leading us to propose a novel strategy that simultaneously increases tumor antigen levels and the ability of T cells to recognize these antigens. This can be accomplished by treating breast cancer patients with drugs that increase the level and surface presentation of tumor antigens on cancer cells, and introduction of artificial surface molecules (i.e. receptors) on patient T cells to improve recognition of these antigens. Our preliminary results suggest that this may greatly improve the ability of T cells to eliminate breast cancer cells. We are currently testing this strategy in clinically-relevant breast cancer mouse models to define the therapeutic potential and possible side effects.



Kirkin A, Dzhandzhugazyan K, Guldberg P, Fang J, Andersen R, Dahl C, Mortensen J, Lundby T, Wagner A, Law I, Broholm H, Madsen L, Lundell-Ek C, Gjerstorff MF, Ditzel HJ, Jensen M, Fischer W. Adoptive cancer immunotherapy using DNA-demethylated T helper cells as antigen-presenting cells. Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 6;9(1):785. IF=12.1.
Brückmann NH, Pedersen CB, Ditzel HJ and Gjerstorff MF. Epigenetic reprogramming of pericentromeric satellite DNA in premalignant and malignant lesions. Mol Cancer Res, 2018; 16(3):417-427. IF = 5.0. Selected for cover.
Gjerstorff MF, Andersen MH and Ditzel HJ. Oncogenic cancer/testis antigens: prime candidates for immunotherapy. Oncotarget. 2015; 6(18):15772-15787. IF = 6.3.
Gjerstorff MF, Relster MM, Greve KB, Moeller JB, Elias D, Lindgreen JN, Schmidt S, Mollenhauer J, Voldborg B, Pedersen CB, Bruckmann NH, Mollegaard NE and Ditzel HJ. SSX2 is a novel DNA-binding protein that antagonizes polycomb group body formation and gene repression. Nucleic acids research. 2014; 42(18):11433-11446. IF = 9.1.



We are always interested in recruiting new ambitious students for our research projects. If you have an interest in molecular research in cancer or aging, please contact Morten Gjerstorff



Technician Christina Pedersen
Postdoc Sofie Traynor
PhD student Aaraby Nielsen
PhD student Nadine Brückmann
Master student Simone Johansen
Master student Sophie Bennedsen
Master student Sofie Kristiansen
Master student Mie Kristensen

We are affiliated with the research group of Professor Henrik Ditzel



Our research is supported by the following foundations:

Det Frie Forskningsråd
Kræftens Bekæmpelse
Velux Fonden
Fonden til Lægevidenskabens Fremme
Dansk kræftforsknings Fond


Last Updated 01.04.2019