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Fioretos' Research Group

Translating genomic discoveries into improved clinical decision making, mechanistic understanding, and therapy of acute leukemia

The overall objective of our research is to significantly improve the way in which acute leukemia is diagnosed, understood at the functional/molecular level, and treated within health care.

We work in three highly aligned and synergistic projects. In the first, new and clinically important genetic changes are identified prospectively in acute leukemia using integrative sequencing and key findings are translated into improved clinical decision making. In the second project, newly identified genetic changes are functionally studied to delineate mechanisms underlying leukemia development. The third project is focused on identifying targets affecting leukemia stem cells and on providing in vivo proof of concept data for targeted therapies with a focus on antibody-based strategies.



Thoas 4

To achieve our objectives, we use start of the art next-generation sequencing technologies, in vitro and in vivo models of acute leukemia, cell sorting, single-cell sequencing and advanced bioinformatics. Our research group collaborates with several international and national research groups, including clinical departments at the university hospital to implement key findings in healthcare. We also have a strong track-record in generating innovations forming the basis for the establishment of new companies.

Five selected recent publications:

Sandén C, Lilljebjörn H, Orsmark Pietras C, Henningsson R, Saba KH, Landberg N, Thorsson H, von Palffy S, Peña-Martinez P, Högberg C, Rissler M, Gisselsson D, Lazarevic V, Juliusson G, Ågerstam H, Fioretos T. Clonal competition within complex evolutionary hierarchies shapes AML over time. Nat Commun 2020;11:579.

Li JF, Dai YT, Lilljebjörn H, Shen SH, Cui BW, Bai L, Liu YF, Qian MX, Kubota Y, Kiyoi H, Matsumura I, Miyazaki Y, Olsson L, Tan AM, Ariffin H, Chen J, Takita J, Yasuda T, Mano H, Johansson B, Yang JJ, Yeoh AE, Hayakawa F, Chen Z*, Pui CH*, Fioretos T*, Chen SJ*, Huang JY*. Transcriptional landscape of B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia based on an international study of 1,223 cases. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2018;115:E11711-E11720

Lazarevic V, Orsmark-Pietras C Lilljebjörn H, Pettersson L, Rissler M, Lübking A, Ehinger M, Juliusson G, Fioretos T. Isolated myelosarcoma is characterized by recurrent NFE2 mutations and concurrent preleukemic clones in the bone marrow. Blood 2018;131:577-581.

Lilljebjörn H, Henningsson R, Hyrenius Wittsten A, Olsson L, Orsmark Pietras K, von Palffy S, Askmyr M, Rissler M, Castor A, Pronk Cornelis JH, Behrendtz M, Mitelman F, Paulsson K, Johansson B, Andersson AK, Fontes M, Fioretos T. Identification of ETV6-RUNX1-like and DUX4-rearranged subtypes in pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nat Commun 2016 7:11790.

Ågerstam H, Hansen N, von Palffy S, Sandén C, Reckzeh K, Karlsson C, Lilljebjörn H, Landberg N, Askmyr M, Högberg C, Rissler M, Porkka K, Wadenvik H, Mustjoki S, Richter J, Järås M, Fioretos T. IL1RAP antibodies block IL1-induced expansion of candidate CML stem cells and mediate cell killing in xenograft models. Blood 2016:128:2683-2693.

For a full list of publications, see the following link:


Our research is mainly funded by the The Swedish Cancer Society, The Swedish Children's Cancer Foundation, The Swedish Research Council (VR), ALF grant for clinical research, Region Skåne, and a Wallenberg Clinical Scholar Award by The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Networks in Academia:

Lund University Cancer Center
Genomics Medicine Sweden
Center for Translational Genomics

Spin-out companies established based on our research:

Qlucore AB
Cantargia AB


Thoas Fioretos

Thoas Fioretos
Professor, MD, PhD

Department of Laboratory Medicine
Division of Clinical Genetics
Klinikgatan 28
SE-221 84 Lund

Tel. +46 46-222 45 95
Thoas [dot] Fioretos [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Research group members:
rasmus [dot] henningsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Rasmus Henningsson), Postdoc
niklas [dot] landberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Niklas Landberg), MD, Doctoral student
henrik [dot] lilljebjorn [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Henrik Lilljebjörn,) PhD, Ass researcher, Head bioinformatics
christina [dot] orsmark_pietras [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Christina Orsmark Pietras), PhD, Ass researcher
pablo [dot] pena [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Pablo Pena), PhD, Research engineer
noelia [dot] puente_moncada [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Noelia Puente Moncada), PhD, Postdoc fellow
marianne [dot] rissler [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Marianne Rissler), Research engineer
carl [dot] sanden [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Carl Sandén), PhD, Ass researcher
hanna [dot] thorsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Hanna Thorsson), Project ass
sofia [dot] von_palffy [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Sofia von Palffy), Doctoral student
Helena [dot] Agerstam [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Helena Ågerstam,) MD, Ass researcher