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RESCUER aims to improve breast cancer treatment using computer modelling.

About the project

The RESCUER (RESistance Under Combinatorial Treatment in ER+ and ER- Breast Cancer) project aims to find the best treatment for each cancer patient by simulating different combinations of treatments in computer models. The project is led by Vessela Kristensen and funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 programme.


To predict the right treatment to the right patient in a more effective way by using data to test different combinations of cancer treatment.


Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women with cancer worldwide. Investing in research has provided valuable knowledge that positively affects treatment. We already know very much about the mechanisms behind breast cancer, and can divide the disease into subgroups based on the molecular characteristics of the tumors. This helps to provide better treatment for patients and gives more survivors.

Now, scientists want to make cancer treatment even more effective by using mathematical models.

In this project, researchers from Klinmed together with their partners from the Department of Biostatistics, Alvaro Köhn-Luque and Arnoldo Frigessi, will use mathematical models to determine which combinations of treatment are most likely to work for patients.


The RESCUER project will go over five years and have a total budget of over 60 million NOK. The project is financed through the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme.


The EU project is an international collaboration project that has evolved from the convergence environment PERCATHE at UiO Life Sciences.

– The project started through a collaboration we have with the Department of Biostatistics with Köhn-Luque and Frigessi. RESCUER is a feather in the cap of this convergence environment that has evolved into an international EU project, says Kristensen.  

The project will include oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, mathematicians, statisticians and molecular biologists. That is, both clinical and mathematical expertise with the participation of experts in many countries. Kristensen and colleagues will look at the biology of breast cancer. Frigessi and Köhn-Luque are in charge of the mathematical models and, together with Cambridge partners, will test which combinations are best.

Partners in the project are:

  • University of Oslo (UiO)
  • Oslo University Hospital (OUH)
  • Norwegian university of science and technology (NTNU), Trondheim
  • University of Helsinki, Finland 
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Leuven University, Belgium
  • Rutgers, the state University of New Jersey, USA
  • University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel
  • Hospital Clinic De Barcelona, Spain
  • University Hospital Erlangen, Germany
  • Institut Fur Frauengesundheit Gmbh, Germany
  • Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France
  • Nantomics Llc, USA
  • IDIBAPS, Spain
  • Vib Vzw, Belgium

The EU's Horizon2020 program is the world's largest research program. It is high prestige and very difficult to reach the top of the competition for funds. Both the Institute of Clinical Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine are very proud that the RESCUER project led by Vessela Kristensen has reached the top of the competition.


Published Nov. 4, 2020 2:41 PM - Last modified Dec. 10, 2020 12:23 PM


Project coordinator