Our new communications advisor

Meet Oslo Cancer Cluster’s new communications advisor Margit Selsjord.

Margit Selsjord will be assisting OCC in communication tasks, working on the websites, in social media, and ensuring that crucial messages are shared with members and the wider audience.

“I am passionate about using my expertise to contribute to solving one of the most significant societal challenges of our time. The increasing prevalence of cancer, even at a very young age, makes it incredibly meaningful to be working for Oslo Cancer Cluster,” Selsjord said.

She is taking over for Sofia Linden who will be on maternity leave throughout 2024.

Aiming to inspire

Selsjord is a trained photojournalist and comes directly from a similar position at LMI (The Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry) where she had roles in communication and content production. She has many years of experience in communication within the health, pharmaceutical, and research fields, and she is also an artist and teacher.

Even in her free time, Selsjord is dedicated to health and prevention. Through interests such as vegan cooking, yoga, meditation, strength training, and climbing, she hopes to inspire others to take better care of their bodies.

“I believe that with my diverse background, experience, and education, I can contribute in many areas, especially in enhancing visual communication. I look forward to working closely and offer my services to the team and members.”

You can get in touch with Margit Selsjord by email. Please find her details in our team overview.


Nordic Life Science Days 2023

This year’s Nordic Life Science Days took place in Copenhagen on 29-30 November.

Since 2015, Oslo Cancer Cluster has coordinated the joint booth Norway for Life Science, promoting the Norwegian healthcare and life science industry. This year together with Norway Health Tech, The Life Science Cluster, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster, Centre for Digital Life Norway, NorTrials, Aleap, Legemiddelindustrien (LMI), Inven2, Innovation Norway, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Copenhagen and Curida.


The Oslo Cancer Cluster team representing and networking in Copenhagen. From Left: Charlotte Homme, Dave Tippett, Thomas Andersson (Business Development, OCC Incubator), Janne Nestvold (COO, OCC Incubator) and Bente Prestegård.

Our members on stage

Anette Weyergang, CEO at RAB Diagniostics, a new company that works towards making cancer treatment more effective and match the right patient with the right drug. RAB Diagniostics is a part of Oslo Cancer Clusters Incubator accelerator program which provide the project with business development.

 RAB diagnostics Anette Weyergang at Nordic Life Science Days 2023 in Copenhagen

RAB diagnostics CEO Anette Weyergang at Nordic Life Science Days 2023 in Copenhagen.


Weyergang is a pharmacist by education and has spent her career since 2004 in Professor Kristian Berg’s research group at the Institute for Cancer Research.

It was great fun pitching RAB Diagniostics in this environment at NLS days, I wish I had more than 4 minutes on stage to talk about our ongoing mission, which is to help finding the right patients so that we can spare those who are less likely to respond to unnecessary treatments.

Find more information about RAB Diagnostics here


Adam Robertson CEO at Hemispherian, pitching at NLSDays 2023.

Adam Robertson, Chief Scientific Officer at Hemispherian, was thrilled to present at Nordic Life Science days. Hemispherian is an innovative preclinical pharmaceutical company focused on developing a novel class of small molecule drugs.

Presenting at NLS Days was an exciting experience. I am glad that so many participants were able to attend. Being a part of such high calibre pitches is hugely motivating.

Hemispherian is at the forefront of revolutionizing cancer treatment, offering hope and potential solutions for patients facing hard-to-treat cancers, especially glioblastoma. The company will enter clinical development in 2024. Robertson shares that Hemispherian’s drug candidates have shown excellent efficacy including in orthotopic glioblastoma xenograft models, as well as excellent tolerability in several animal models.

Find more information about Hemispherian here



Torbjørn Furuseth, CEO and Co-founder of DoMore Diagnostics.

Torbjørn Furuseth, CEO and co-founder of DoMore! Diagnostics, presented the latest development and new results from tthis years research and projects.

Find more information about DoMore! Diagnostics here


Hanne Lund, Business Development Director at Curida pitching on stage at NLS Days.

Hanne Lund, Business Development Director at Curida, talked about the newest updates from the company in 2023.

Find more information about Curida here




Six-month milestone

A Norwegian perspective: The foundations of the ECHoS project are laid and Cancer Mission activities are speeding up in Norway.

Over the initial six months of ECHoS, Oslo Cancer Cluster and its collaborators have made significant contributions towards achieving the project’s goals by increasing awareness and mobilising the Norwegian ecosystem for the EU’s Mission on Cancer.

With its early setup of the National Cancer Mission Hub in 2021, Norway is well-positioned to implement the Cancer Mission. Partners of the national hub are taking part in the European effort to establish similar structures in all member states and associated countries, under the ECHoS project.

“ECHoS provides an opportunity to explore new collaborative formats among stakeholders, including patients and citizens. It paves the way to establish novel partnerships across sectors and create opportunities to foster innovation in cancer care.” Marine Jeanmougin, Lead EU affairs and digital innovation in Oslo Cancer Cluster


Political discussions

Two public meetings were organised with politicians, experts, and representatives from different sectors in April and August. The debate revolved around the importance to commit to the Mission, how to use Missions as a tool for political change and how Norway can deliver on the Mission.

At the meeting Fremtidens kreftbehandling in April, key opinion leaders discussed how Norway should commit to the EU’s Mission on Cancer. Photo: Sofia Linden

Raising awareness

During The Economist’s World Cancer Series in Brussels, Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster, moderated a panel discussion on cancer prevention. Clinicians, policymakers, and patient advocates discussed: How can equal access to screening be guaranteed? And what strategies can be implemented to adopt innovative methods for cancer detection?

Panel discussion with key opinion leaders at The Economist’s World Cancer Series in Brussel. Photo: Dave Tippett

Engaging stakeholders

Oslo Cancer Cluster recently conducted a working session on multistakeholder cooperation. Discussions addressed the possible challenges in establishing complex partnerships but also the opportunities offered by the mission approach to bring concrete solutions to cancer patients. The event fostered bottom-up thinking among ECHoS partners and tapped into the experience that participants have accumulated within their own ecosystems.

A cross-border, multi-national, virtual workshop with partners from ECHoS work package 3, work task 3, delved into new forms of collaboration towards the Mission on Cancer.

About ECHoS

ECHoS is a European project, funded by Horizon Europe Programme. It aims at supporting the implementation of the Cancer Mission activities in all Member State and Associated Country (MS/AC) through the establishment and development of National Cancer Mission Hubs (NCMHs) operating at national, regional, and local levels.

Read more on the ECHoS website.

Personalising breast cancer screening in Norway

Are polygenic risk scores the key to personalising cancer prevention in Norway?

Imagine that your saliva can reveal your personal risk for developing certain diseases. Think about the possibilities of detecting cancer at an early stage, preventing serious disease and saving lives. This is what polygenic risk score (PRS) tests are all about.

The AnteNOR project has investigated how such a test for breast cancer can be implemented in the Norwegian healthcare system. In a recent seminar at Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, researchers and experts met to present the results and discuss the way forward.

Watch the seminar here:


Analysing Norwegian data

Eivind Hovig, Professor at the Centre for Bioinformatics at the University of Oslo, and group leader at Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, has investigated the performance of breast cancer polygenic risk score in the Norwegian population.

Eivind Hovig, Professor at the Centre for Bioinformatics at the University of Oslo, and group leader at Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital. Photo: Sofia Linden / Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Denise O’Mahony, researcher at the Department of Medical Genetics, Institute of Medical Genetics at University of Oslo, supplemented Hovig’s presentation. Her research group has among other things analysed the distribution of polygenic risk scores in Norwegian data compared to Estonian data.

“By the age of 49 we see a total of 182 women that have a higher risk than the median absolute risk at 50, which is the age that women enter screening, therefore indicating the benefit of incorporating the PRS in clinical practice,” commented O’Mahony.

Denise O’Mahony, researcher at the Department of Medical Genetics, Institute of Medical Genetics at University of Oslo. Photo: Wenche Gerhardsen / Oslo Cancer Cluster.


Testing in the clinic

A clinical pilot study at Vestre Viken breast centre has evaluated the impact of implementing population-based genetic testing strategy for breast cancer precision prevention. There were 80 study participants aged 40-50 who took the saliva-based PRS test at the breast centre. Some of these women were ultimately recommended earlier screening or more intensive screening.

“Half of them were recommended to participate in standard screening. Almost half of them were recommended to start screening at an earlier age than 50. One was recommended to start annual mammography screening immediately,” said Tone Hovda, senior radiologist at Vestre Viken.

Tone Hovda, senior radiologist at Vestre Viken. Photo: Sofia Linden / Oslo Cancer Cluster.


Is this cost-effective?

As with any innovation, the tests come at a price. Kari Kollstad, health economist at Oecona AS, has developed a cost-effectiveness analysis of a polygenic risk-tailored breast cancer screening program in Norway.

“The preliminary results show that risk-stratified screening is more costly than current mammography screening, mainly driven by: costs associated with implementing the test and consultations, as well as screening costs. Risk-stratified screening also resulted in an increase in life years and quality-adjusted life years, and a redistribution of cancer cases compared to current mammography screening,” said Kollstad.

This means that while the tests come with a cost, risk stratified screening means that breast cancer can be detected at an earlier stage and that patients live longer.

Kari Kollstad, health economist at Oecona AS. Photo: Sofia Linden / Oslo Cancer Cluster


Towards individual-based screening

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion about how to implement PRS tests in clinical practice.

“As an oncologist with 33 years of experience, I have encountered numerous cases of advanced breast cancer in women of various ages. When analyzing their risks and individual stories, I realized that we could prevent most of these unfortunate situations. Breast cancer risks vary significantly among women, but our screening approaches are the same for all. It is crucial that we enhance the current real-world practices for breast cancer prevention and screening, especially considering the availability of innovative solutions,” commented Dr. Peeter Padrik, CEO and Founder of Antegenes.

The company Antegenes has developed novel polygenic risk score-based genetic tests to estimate the risk of common cancers.

Peeter Padrik, CEO and founder of Antegenes. Photo: Sofia Linden / Oslo Cancer Cluster

“I believe precision cancer prevention will be the right way for the future. We need to see what we can do to find more women with breast cancer that need to be treated,” commented Ole Alexander Opdalshei, deputy secretary general, the Norwegian Cancer Society.

“We have been doing mammography screening for 30 years now and using the same procedures and equipment, so it is definitely time for change. We need to go more personalised. We need more efficient tools and we need to consider if it is time to extend the age range targeted in the program. I think the Antegenes test could contribute to making BreastScreen Norway more personalized and better for women: if we could start inviting women 48 years old, test all women and plan a personalised screening for the women. It would be expensive, but perhaps cost-effective in the long run,” commented Solveig Hofvind, Head of the Mammography Programme at The Cancer Registry of Norway.


Project partners: Antegenes, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, Vestre Viken.

This project is supported by the Norway Green ICT Programme.