The Swedish Cancer Society research committee has decided on a total of SEK 799 million in grants this year, which is the largest amount in the Cancer Society's history. To Gustav Stålhammar, the grant means that the Swedish Cancer Society reimburses him with 1.3 million during three years during the time he is absent from the hospital to do research.
”My research ultimately aims to improve survival in uveal melanoma – which is one of very few cancers that has not seen any improvements in survival for half a century. Me, my doctoral students and other affiliates conduct this research by refining our methods of predicting the aggressiveness of individual tumors,” says Gustav Stålhammar, ophthalmologist at St. Erik's Eye Hospital and researcher at Karolinska Institutet.
As an example, Gustav Stålhammar's research group is currently developing a test based on a normal blood sample taken in the arm, instead of the much more invasive techniques that you otherwise have to use to predict how aggressive a tumor is. The researchers then want to include patients with the most aggressive tumors in a clinical study with a drug that hopefully may reduce the risk of developing metastases.
”This grant means that I get more time to devote myself to this very important work. In turn, it will then be possible to reach out with our results earlier for the benefit of patients. I am very grateful that the Swedish Cancer Society also has shown that they think this is important, and for all the gifts and donations from private individuals and companies that have made the grant possible,” says Gustav Stålhammar.
In October 2020, Gustav Stålhammar also completed his board certification in pathology. This means that he now has a double board certification in ophthalmology and pathology, as one of only two in Sweden together with Professor Stefan Seregard, both active at St. Erik's Eye Hospital.