About the Institute - Riga Stradiņš University

Institute of Oncology

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The Institute of Hereditary Cancer was established in 2001 by Riga Stradins University in collaboration with Professor Jan Lubinski (Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland). The first director of the Institute was Professor Jānis Gardovskis. Since then the Institute has expanded its activities and research fields to become the Institute of Oncology in 2012.

The Institute aims its activities in the areas of scientific research, educational work as well as promotion of academic degrees and continuous education in the fields of oncology and personalised medicine. One of the important goals of the Institute is to encourage the awareness of hereditary and sporadic oncologic diseases among health care specialists and public.

The Institute of Oncology is involved in national and international grants, cooperation programmes, scientific projects and clinical trials, provide support for students, residents in training and doctoral students in their research work.

Departments of the Institute

Tumour Chemistry and Laser Therapy Research Department

Chemotherapy is one of the options in cancer treatment using potent chemical substances. Usually it includes the whole body, though specific organs or tissues can be targeted. The aim of chemotherapy is to fight a cancer:

  • by reducing a size of tumour before surgery or radiotherapy;
  • in case of prophylactic chemotherapy to eliminate cancer cells from surrounded organs or tissues after surgery;
  • to relieve symptoms of disease or to control tumour growth .

Radiotherapy is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells. Although, healthy tissues can be affected by therapy, they recover more efficient as tumour cells.

Recently cancer treatment became more personalised with options to use chemotherapy for specific tumour types. Immunohistochemistry tumour markers are indicative of particular tumour sub-types based on individual features and can be used for more precise diagnostics, prediction of therapy efficiency and increase of life expectancy of patients.

Breast Cancer Research Department

onkologijas-instituts01Main goals of the Department:

  • Clinical studies — hereditary cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention research;
  • Encourage patients to be aware of breast cancer development, prevention and early diagnostics.

The clinical work of research is done in cooperation with Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, Breast Diseases Centre.

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

Main research activities of the Laboratory:

  • Molecular genetics studies — identification of hereditary and sporadic tumour mutations by a wide spectrum of molecular biology methods from PCR to NGS (Next Generation Sequencing);

  • Study of tumour biomarkers — research of potential biomarkers with prognostic and predicative significance:

    • analysis of microRNA expression level changes in the tissues of tumour to assess the efficiency of therapy;
    • LOH and CNV analysis in the tissues of tumours;
    • Analysis of circulating nucleic acids in metastatic breast and colorectal cancer patients plasma/serum.
  • The Biobank at the Institute of Oncology is a repository of over 14,000 DNA samples from breast, colorectal and other cancer patients and control groups, as well as more than 500 fresh-frozen breast cancer tissue samples.

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Onco-urology Research Department

The Department is focused on urological oncology disorders – kidney, prostate and bladder cancers, their clinical and molecular genetics research, to promote more efficient and early diagnostics of the disease.

Study of therapeutic efficiency is performed to provide better results in cancer treatment.

The clinical work of research is done in cooperation with Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, Urology Centre.

Hereditary Cancer Research Department

Main goals of the Department:

  • Clinical studies of hereditary oncology diseases, their diagnostic and treatment results, as well as prevention;

  • Encourage patients to be aware of gene mutation inheritance, prevention and early diagnostics of the disease;

  • Development of database for clinical, molecular genetics and statistical data of hereditary tumours.

The clinical work of research is done in cooperation with Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, Hereditary Cancer Cabinet.

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Sociology and Life Quality Analysis Department

Main goals of the Department:

  • Study of breast cancer patients quality of life, experience and various social aspects related to the disease;

  • Analyse the treatment, quality and availability of health care and personal assessment of various support types.

  • Data analysis of sociological research in relation to genetic and clinical data, to obtain comprehensive information about the causes, risk factors, and course of the disease.

Scientific Priorities

  • Endogenous and exogenous risk factors in Latvia, comprehensive analysis of public health determinants

  • Cancer: research on clinical and molecular characteristics and their advancement for prevention, early diagnosis and improvement of treatment strategies

Fields and Sub-fields   

Basic Sciences of Medicine; Sociology | Molecular genetics; Morphology; Clinical oncology; Cancer chemistry; Radiation therapy

Contact

Address: Pilsoņu Str. 13, Riga, LV-1002

Legal address: Dzirciema Str. 16, Riga, LV-1007

Phone: +371 67704028

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Acting Director: Prof. Edvīns Miklaševičs

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Scientific staff

Director of Institute: Dr.biol. Prof. Edvīns Miklaševičs

Phone: + 371 67704051

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Office manager: Urzula Lakuča

Phone: +371 67704028

Mobile: +371 20243675

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Tumour Chemistry and Radiation Therapy Research Department

Senior researcher: Dr. med. Assoc. Prof. Gunta Purkalne

Phone: +371 67069457

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Doctoral students: Elīna Skuja, Viktors Kozirovskis

Breast Cancer Research Department

Senior researcher: Dr. med. Assoc. prof. Arvīds Irmejs

Phone: +371 67069728

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Researcher: Dr. med. Jeļena Maksimenko

Laboratory assistant: Dace Lapiņa

Hereditary Cancer Research Department

Senior researcher: Dr. med. Assoc. Prof. Andris Gardovskis

Phone: +371 67069973

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Researchers: Signe Subatniece

Laboratory assistants: Anita Bessmertnova

Onco-urology Research Department

Senior researcher: Dr. med. Assoc. Prof. Egils Vjaters

Phone: +371 67069951

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

Head of Laboratory: Dr. med. Zanda Daneberga

Phone: +371 67615677

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Senior researchers: Dr. biol. Miki Nakazawa-Miklaševiča, Dr. biol. Inese Čakstiņa, Dr. med. Assoc. prof. Zanda Daneberga, Dagnija Kalniete

Researchers: Arta Olga Balode, Dace Bērziņa, Valdis Pirsko

Laboratory assistants: Gunda Zvīgule-Neidere, Laura Ozoliņa, Dina Nitiša, Linda Feldmane

Doctoral students: Inese Eglīte, Valdis Pirsko

Sociology and Life Quality Analysis Department

Researcher: Liene Līvmane

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Rīga Stradiņš University, 16 Dzirciema Street, Rīga, LV-1007, Latvia, +371 67409261 (UTC +2), international@rsu.lv