Adjunct Professor of Colorectal Cancer at the Department of Oncology-Pathology as of 1 February 2021. Primary position: Consultant at Karolinska University Hospital Consultant at Tampere University Hospital
Pia Österlund is an oncologist and studies ways to ensure that patients with gastrointestinal cancer receive more effective treatment and enjoy a higher quality of life. One important line of research is biomarkers that can help doctors select the right treatments for their patients. Österlund is also evaluating the relationship between diet, gut microbiome and adverse events to understand why such events arise and how they can be alleviated. Amongst other achievements, she has shown that the dominant colorectal cancer drug often causes secondary lactose intolerance and that patients feel better if their diet is adjusted accordingly.
In one current study, Österlund and her colleagues have shown that it is possible using optimised treatment and centralised multidisciplinary team assessment to operate metasta- tic colorectal cancers with excellent outcomes. She has been principal investigator for many clinical studies on new drugs and will in the future be involved in research on new potential drug targets.