The research interest of the Dyrskjøt group is to understand biological aspects of urothelial cancer: development, progression, metastasis, and treatment response mechanisms – with the goal to develop new monitoring and prediction tools for guiding treatment decisions for cancer patients.  

Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen at Google Scholar

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide and is each year responsible for approximately 213,000 deaths. Risk factors include tobacco smoking and occupational exposure to carcinogens. The prevalence is three to eight times higher than the incidence, making bladder cancer one of the most prevalent neoplasms, and hence, a major burden for health care systems.  

Aim of research

Specifically, our research aims to provide new knowledge about the underlying molecular biology of the disease and identify novel biomarkers and molecular subtypes for predicting treatment response and outcome. We focus on molecular changes in normal urothelium (field cancerization), tumor immunology and the tumor microenvironment to unravel the cellular context in patients and how it affects tumorigenesis and outcomes. Furthermore, we aim to identify and validate circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as novel biomarkers in blood and urine for detection of progression, metastatic disease, and for monitoring treatment response.

We are highly involved in the Danish National Center for Circulating Tumor DNA Guided Cancer Treatment and in several clinical cancer trials. Specifically, we have initiated the TOMBOLA trial, where we are using ctDNA monitoring to guide immunotherapy after radical cystectomy (see below). 

Identified pre-BCG variables predictive of T-cell exhaustion and BCG HG recurrence (created with HG = high grade; BCG = bacillus Calmette-Guérin; tdDNA = tumor-derived DNA; ExhP = exhaustion predictor. By Strandgaard T et al, Eur Urol 2022.

Biobanking initiative

The local bladder cancer biobanking initiative is fundamental for the work of the group.
Currently, the biobank contains more than 153,000 samples of tumor tissue, blood, plasma, and urine from more than 5,500 patients diagnosed with bladder cancer. Samples have been prospectively collected since 1994 in close collaboration with the Departments of Urology, Pathology and Oncology at Aarhus University Hospital. All information is organized in a database, including detailed pathology information, and sample characteristics. The biobanking initiative is now a part of Bio- and Genome Bank Denmark (RBGB).

Summary characteristics of the transcriptomicclasses. Molecular features associated with the classes are mentioned, and suggestions for therapeutic options with potential clinical benefit are listed. MIBC muscle-invasive bladder cancer, EMT epithelial-mesenchymal transition, CTLs cytotoxic T lymphocytes.By Lindskrog SV et al, Nat Commun 2021.


NMIBC Classifier:

An integrated multi-omics analysis identifies prognostic molecular subtypes of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer
Lindskrog SV, Prip F, Lamy P, Taber A, Groeneveld CS, Birkenkamp-Demtröder K, Jensen JB, Strandgaard T, Nordentoft I, Christensen E, Sokac M, Birkbak NJ, Maretty L, Hermann GG, Petersen AC, Weyerer V, Grimm MO, Horstmann M, Sjödahl G, Höglund M, Steiniche T, Mogensen K, de Reyniès A, Nawroth R, Jordan B, Lin X, Dragicevic D, Ward DG, Goel A, Hurst CD, Raman JD, Warrick JI, Segersten U, Sikic D, van Kessel KEM, Maurer T, Meeks JJ, DeGraff DJ, Bryan RT, Knowles MA, Simic T, Hartmann A, Zwarthoff EC, Malmström PU, Malats N, Real FX, Dyrskjøt L.
Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 16;12(1):2301. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22465-w. PubMed

Group leader

Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen

Chairing Professor, PhD, MSc, Group leader