Digital Public Defence: Trygve Lofterød Trygve Lofterød at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis "Lifestyle, lipids, metabolic factors, ethnicity and breast cancer" for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Sivert Biernat Lofterød

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Michael Leitzmann, Universität Regensburg, Germany
  • Second opponent: Professor Marianne Ewertz, The University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Emeritus Stein Kvaløy, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor Emeritus Kjell Magne Tveit, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal supervisor

Professor II Inger Thune, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo


Unfavorable lifestyle- and metabolic factors may influence breast cancer risk and prognosis. However, less is known to what degree the influence of these factors differ by tumor heterogeneity, and whether a rapid lifestyle change and ethnic disparities influence breast cancer development.  

Using data material from two population-based studies, The EBBA Life study (1979-2017)* and The Oslo Ethnic Breast Cancer study (2000-2018)**, and clinical data from medical charts, Trygve Lofterød and his colleagues have studied the influence of pre-diagnostic lifestyle factors, lipid values and body composition on breast cancer risk and prognosis by ethnicity and breast cancer molecular subtype.

In the EBBA-Life study (n=15 795), they found a positive dose-response effect of number of unfavorable lifestyle factors (overweight, physical inactivity, alcohol use, smoking, and hypertension) on breast cancer risk, lower age at diagnosis, and breast cancer mortality. Among 464 women diagnosed with the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, triple-negative breast cancer, they observed that a high pre-diagnostic level of triglycerides, compared to a low level, was associated with three times higher overall mortality risk.  

The Oslo Ethnic Breast Cancer study included 13 802 women, of whom 557 women developed breast cancer during follow-up. They observed that among women with an unfavorable metabolic profile (high body mass index, central adiposity, high triglyceride/HDL-cholesterol ratio, and high blood pressure), the south Asian immigrant women had more than twice as high breast cancer risk compared with the western European women. The non-western immigrant women were more likely to present with triple-negative breast cancer, and less likely to complete adjuvant chemotherapy.
In conclusion, their findings are unique and pinpoint certain women at increased risk of breast cancer and worse breast cancer prognosis, warranting new studies and actions to closer follow-up of these women. 

*Data collected at the University of Tromsø in collaboration with University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) and Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål 
** Data collected at the National Institute of Public Health, Norway, and Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål 

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Published Sep. 16, 2021 8:50 AM - Last modified Sep. 30, 2021 12:34 PM