Klefström Lab

Our laboratory studies oncogenic signalling pathways and oncogene & tumor suppressor induced cancer-specific cellular programs, which cause therapeutic vulnerabilities in cancer.

Klefström Lab is a well-established cancer research laboratory located in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. We host a vibrant team of over 20 people in all stages of academic career and exciting projects ranging from basic research to translational advances in cancer research with strong societal impact. We also work closely with breast cancer patient organizations.

We are currently testing lead therapeutic intervention strategies related to cancer cell metabolism and apoptosis in our collection of preclinical in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models of breast cancer, aiming to translate our scientific discoveries to clinical investigation and ultimately, to benefit cancer patients.

Our focus: Oncogene MYC and Cell Death

While our laboratory studies different possibilities to exploit synthetic lethal interactions in oncogenic drug discovery, we focus especially on MYC-dependent metabolic vulnerabilities. MYC is a transcription factor that coordinates various cell processes, including cell proliferation and cell death. The expression of MYC is however mis-regulated in many (or most) cancers, making it an interesting oncogene to study. We investigate those MYC synthetic lethal approaches which could induce vulnerabilities in cancer cells and sensitize them to cell death. In essence, the concept of synthetic lethality follows the same principles as martial art Judo – instead of trying to subdue the force of your adversary with even mightier force, you just use the strength of the adversary as a weapon against itself.

Pipettes Klefström lab

From Bench to Clinic: Translational Cancer Research is our Mission

Translational Cancer Research facilitates the movement of novel ideas and innovations in oncogenic drug discovery. Bench-to-Clinic approach aims to tie cancer research in laboratories to societal needs and clinical implications. Currently, Klefström Lab hosts projects on translating MYC-oncogene therapeutic approaches to benefit cancer patients (MYCIMMUNE), on cancer immunotherapy focused public-private collaboration for better research, innovation, health care and public awareness (CancerIO), on creating an ecosystem of actors around precision cancer care originating from the HUS-led FINPROVE research project (BRIDCE) and on finding novel solutions and innovations for overcoming drug-resistance in cancer (ReCurE).

Petri dish Klefström lab

We develop 3D Explant Models with Human Cancer Tissue

As part of preclinical research environment, Klefström Lab develops complex ex-vivo 3D models with live human cancer tissue. Patient-derived explant cultures (PDEC) offer a new intriguing advancement over traditional two-dimensional clonal cancer cell cultures. PDECs are cultured in three-dimensional matrices to preserve the cellular heterogeneity and cellular contacts with other cells and the extracellular matrix. These tumor explant models are more authentic with regards to molecular mechanisms of cancer and personalized drug responses.

Core facility activities

Klefström Lab provides top-level expertise with Core Facility Activities

Klefström Lab Team coordinates Finnish Genome Editing Center (FINGEEC) and Biomedicum Virus Core Unit (BVC). FINGEEC provides genome editing services in different mammalian cell lines and analytical services for CRISPR/Cas9 edited cells for research purposes. Biomedicum Virus Core (BVC) service unit offers a wide range of lentiviral and some retroviral services for internal and external customers.

Our collaborators & funders

Our collaborators

Our funders