Sandra Eloranta

Research coordinator

About me

I am a mathematical statistician by training and have spent more than 15 years conducting applied epidemiological cancer research. My main expertise is in statistical and epidemiological methods used to study population-based cancer patient survival and cancer survivorship issues. In the past five years my main research focus has shifted somewhat from classical descriptive cancer epidemiology studies, which predominantly used data from Swedish national health registers, to clinical epidemiology, and specifically to studies of lymphoma survival. Since 2013 I have been working in close collaboration with Karin Ekström Smedby in the cancer epidemiology group at the Division of Clinical Epidemiology (Department of Medicine, Solna).

My main tasks include providing statistical expertise (design, analysis and interpretation) in epidemiological studies, supervising doctoral students, and teaching, for example at the clinical research schools hosted by the Division of Clinical Epidemiology.

Since 2016 I have been the Alliance manager for a scientific collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Janssen Pharmaceutical NV. The collaboration involves both studies of the effects of disease and treatment, using routine observational data from health care ("Real World Data"​), as well as studies that aim to advance the understanding of disease etiology and disease progression. The research areas include depression and mood disorders, B-cell malignancies, lung cancer, multiple myeloma and Alzheimers disease and dementia.

Teaching portfolio

PhD supervision

Joshua Entrop has a Master degree in public health and studies childbearing patterns after modern-day intensive immunochemotherapy in young Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors. Joshua commenced his graduate studies in 2020 and will perform the studies in collaboration with the epidemiology working group of the Nordic lymphoma group. His project is supported by the Swedish Cancer Society and Åke Wibergs stiftelse.

Sara Ekberg has a background in mathematical statistics and studying patterns and trends in the incidence, prevalence and survival as well as survivorship issues among patients diagnosed with the most common non-hodgkin lymphoma subtypes in Sweden, with a focus on Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. Her studies originate in data from the Swedish lymphoma register and are conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Swedish Lymphoma Group.

Sara Harrysson is an MD with a specific interest in survival, relapse and cardiac events after a diagnosis of aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Her research focus is specifically to investigate treatment outcome and predictors in relapsed and treatment-refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma by clinical, demographic and biological characteristics, as well as the incidence, characteristics and timing of cardiovascular events (particularly acute coronary syndrome) among anthracycline-treated patients.

Elsa Brånvall is a specialist in hematology and internal medicine studying the role of medication history in the etiology and prognosis of lymphoma subtypes. Specifically her studies investigate if the use of aspirin or NSAIDs or cholesterol-lowering medications (such as statins) decrease the risk of developing lymphoma,  and/or are associated with an improved the prognosis of lymphoma. 

Henrik Benoni is an MD investigating cancer risk and prognosis following solid organ transplantation. His research aims to identify determinants of cancer risk among kidney transplant recipients and to estimate absolute risks and timing of increased cancer risks in a Nordic cohort of kidney transplant recipients. His PhD studies also look into if solid organ transplant recipients have a worse cancer prognosis than the general cancer population (unexposed to organ transplantation)

Joel Joelsson is an MD studying survival and surviorship issues among patients with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)

Past PhD students

Caroline Weibull is a mathematical statistician with a research focus on survivorship issues after Hodgkin lymphoma. The specific aims were to describe trends in childbearing by clinical characteristics and to investigate the association between pregnancy and risk for relapse among women in remission following a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma. Her studies also aimed to shed light on if the decline in treatment-related mortality of diseases of the circulatory system is associated with less toxic treatments or improved follow-up and care. Her thesis work included methodological development as well as applied statistical work. Caroline defended her thesis: Survivorship in Hodgkin Lymphoma: childbearing and treatment-related disease in November  2018.

Lingjing Chen has a background in medicine and public health and completed her thessis, entitled: Rectal cancer surviorship: work loss and long-term morbidity in December 2017.


Teaching merits

I am a specialist in statistical methods for competing risks and frequently invited to give presentations on this topic in various forms. I have for example been invited to give lectures and courses aimed towards both statisticians and non-statisticians at, for example, the University of Lund (Sweden), the University of Umeå (Sweden), The Arctic University of Tromsö (Norway), the Regional Cancer Center in Stockholm, the annual meeting of the Network of Epidemiology and Nutrition, as well as the Summer School on Modern Methods in Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Italy) organized jointly by Harvard School of Public Health, University of Milano-Bicocca and Karolinska institutet.

I am also frequently invited to teach the fundamental principles of research documentation. These lectures typically cover a wide range of topics related to data management in epidemiological research; from practical issues related to data collection, reproducible research processes, archiving, to theoretical lectures on ethical considerations and Swedish laws that are of importance for epidemiological research. I was also the first author of a book chapter on this topic published by Läkartidningen in 2015 (Verktyg för klinisk forskning). 

I regularly teach at the Clinical research schools hosted  by the Clinical epidemiology division, Department of Medicine Solna. Example lectures from these teaching occasions are found at the Documents section below.


Docent (Associate professor), Clinical Epidemiology (2020)

PhD Medical Science, Karolinska Institutet (2013). 

Title of Thesis: Development and application of statistical methods for population-based cancer patient. (Supervisor: Paul Dickman).

MSc Mathematics, Uppsala University (2006). 

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