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Diseases of esophagus and stomach

The group consists of surgeons, oncologists, a gastroenterologist and pathologist and works for optimization of treatment.

About the group

Purpose of the group is optimalisation of

  • Oncologic and surgical treatment of patients with esophageal cancer and gastric cancer with focus on morbidity, complications and quality of life. 
  • Treatment of patients with benign esophageal diseases (perforations, achalasia, diverticula)
  • Treatment of hiatal hernias and incisional hernias

These goals can be facilitated by participating in studies. A focus will also be translational research aiming at identifying sensitive biomarkers for early detection of cancer.

Projects and Research

  • Continual monitoring of complications and survival (quality assurance) following resection for esophageal- and gastric cancer
  • Continuous biobanking of blood samples and tumor tissue ((esophageal cancer (n= 450), gastric cancer (n=290)) to a biobank since 2013 for research purposes.  Analyses of biobank material have been ongoing since 2019.
  • Studies on esophageal cancer on biomarkers /local treatment of dysplasia and early cancer/total minimally invasive resection for more advanced cancer are ongoing (PhD study)
  • A pilot project on to studying microcirculatory changes in the gastric tube before, under and after surgery for esophageal cancer has been completed. Results are planned for publication.
  • The INNOVATION study. European randomised multicenter study, in which patients with HER-2 positive gastric cancer were randomized in three arms for i) chemotherapy (perioperative FLOTx4x2 eller CiFU/CiXel), ii) chemotherapy with trastuzumab or iii) chemotherapy with trastuzumab+pertuzumab. End point is overall survival.  EORTC study. Inclusion is still ongoing. 
  • INTENSE study.  Effect of perioperative use of chemotherapy (FOLFIXFLIRIx4x2) in patients with resectable gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.  Ongoing inclusion.
  • NEEDS study. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for esophageal  squamous cell carcinoma versus definitive chemoradiotherapy with salvage surgery as needed. Multicenter study started in 2021.
  • VESTIGE study. Postoperative Immunotherapy (nivolumab plus ipilimumab) vs Standard Chemotherapy for Gastric Cancer stage Ib-IVb, including esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma, with high risk for recurrence (defined by ypN1-3 and/or R1 status) (VESTIGE). Venter på REK/SLV godkjenning.
  • The upper GI International Robotic Association (UGIRA) for contribution of patients to the International Registry for Robot-Assisted Minimally Gastrectomy (RAMIG) for gastric cancer. Dr. C. de Jongh, University Medical Center, Utrecht, is project leader. Professor Tom Mala is responsible for recruitment of patients to this registry at OUS from 2021.
  • The kiNETiC – a Register based Randomised Controlled Trial- Ng-tube post–EsophagecTomy Complications. A Scandinavian multicenter study. Three out of four University clinics in Norway will participate.  Awaiting decision from the ethical committee. Associate prof. Jacob Hedberg, Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala is responsible. Prof. Tom Mala is responsible at OUS.
  • Keynote 061 (randomised study with palliative chemotherapi in 2. line for gastric cancer; standard chemotherapy vs.  MK3475. MSD study. Inclusion from August 2015.
  • Keynote 180 (phase II study, palliative chemotherapy in 3. line for esophageal cancer; MK3474). MSD study. Inclusion from January 2016. 
  • Keynote 181 (randomised phase III study, palliative chemoterapy in 2. line for esophageal cancer;  standard chemotherapy vs MK3475). MSD study. Inclusion from January 2016.
  • Nordic NEC registry (registry study for all patients with neuroendocrine carcinoma of the GI-tract (GEP-NEC)). Inclusion from 2013. NNTG (Nordic Neuroendocrine Tumor Group). See reference 3 in the publication list (GO Hjortland is co-author).
  • ET-NEC. Nordic one armed phase II study for patients with GEP-NEC, Ki67 index 20-55%, first line treatment with everolimus and temozolomid. Inclusion from October 2014. NNTG study.



  • Truls Hauge and colleagues at Gastromedical Dep.,OUS,Ullevål
  • Geir Olav Hjortland and colleagues at the Oncological department,OUS,Ullevål
  • Guro Elisabeth Lind and colleagues at Dep. of Molecular Oncology, Institute of Cancer Reseach, OUS,DNR  


  • Magnus Nilsson and colleagues at the Gastrosurgical dep., Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden

Selected Publications

  • Hauge T, Franco-Lie I, Løberg EM, Hauge T, Johnson E. Outcome after endoscopic treatment for dysplasia and superficial esophageal cancer - a cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2020 Sep;55(9):1132-1138. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2020.1800813. Epub 2020 Aug 4. PMID: 32748653.
  • Hauge T, Amdal CD, Falk RS, Johannessen HO, Johnson E. Long-term outcome in patients operated with hybrid esophagectomy for esophageal cancer - a cohort study. Acta Oncol. 2020 Jul;59(7):859-865. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2020.1750694. Epub 2020 Apr 23. PMID: 32324079.
  • Nilsson K, Klevebro F, Rouvelas I, Lindblad M, Szabo E, Halldestam I, Smedh U, Wallner B, Johansson J, Johnsen G, Aahlin EK, Johannessen HO, Hjortland GO, Bartella I, Schröder W, Bruns C, Nilsson M. Surgical Morbidity and Mortality From the Multicenter Randomized Controlled NeoRes II Trial: Standard Versus Prolonged Time to Surgery After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for Esophageal Cancer. Ann Surg. 2020 Nov;272(5):684-689. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000004340. PMID: 32833767.
  • Al-Haidari G, Skovlund E, Undseth C, Rekstad BL, Larsen SG, Åsli LM, Dueland S, Malinen E, Guren MG. Re-irradiation for recurrent rectal cancer - a single-center experience. Acta Oncol. 2020 May;59(5):534-540. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2020.1725111. Epub 2020 Feb 14. PMID: 32056476.
  • Mala T, Førland DT, Vetti HH, Skagemo CU, Johannessen HO, Johnson E. Gastrisk adenokarsinom og proksimal ventrikkelpolypose – en sjelden form for arvelig magesekkreft [Gastric adenocarcinoma and proximal polyposis of the stomach – a rare form of hereditary gastric cancer]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2020 May 4;140(7). Norwegian. doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.19.0480. PMID: 32378851.
  • Gharagozlian S, Mala T, Brekke HK, Kolbjørnsen LC, Ullerud ÅA, Johnson E. Nutritional status, sarcopenia, gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life after gastrectomy for cancer - A cross-sectional pilot study. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2020 Jun;37:195-201. 
  • Ali AS, Langer SW, Federspiel B, Hjortland GO, Grønbæk H, Ladekarl M, Welin S, Weber Vestermark L, Arola J, Osterlund P, Knigge U, Sørbye H, Micke P, Grimelius L, Grönberg M, Tiensuu Janson E. PD-L1 expression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms grade 3. PLoS One. 2020 Dec 14;15(12):e0243900. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243900. PMID: 33315908; PMCID: PMC7735636.
  • Elvebakken H, Perren A, Scoazec JY, Tang LH, Federspiel B, Klimstra DS, Vestermark LW, Ali AS, Zlobec I, Myklebust TÅ, Hjortland GO, Langer SW, Gronbæk H, Knigge U, Tiensuu Janson E, Sorbye H. A consensus developed morphological re-evaluation of 196 high-grade gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms and its clinical correlations. Neuroendocrinology. 2020 Oct 1. doi: 10.1159/000511905. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33002892


Published Aug. 10, 2018 10:33 AM - Last modified May 28, 2021 3:12 PM


Group Leader


  • Egil Johnson
  • Else Marit Løberg
  • Al-Haidari Ghazwan
  • Brit Dybdahl
  • Caroloine Ursin skagemo
  • Dag T. Førland
  • Geir Olav Hjortland
  • Hans-Olaf Johannessen
  • Jorunn Skattum
  • Magnus Hølmo Fasting
  • Tobias Hauge
  • Torgeir Thorson Søvik
Detailed list of participants