dr. Nora Sundahl (MD, PhD)

CRIG member
Nora Sundahl

Postdoctoral researcher - Department of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Cancer Research, UGent
Radiation Oncology resident - Department of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Cancer Research, UZ Gent and Academic Urology Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital, London. 

Principal investigator: prof. Piet Ost

Research focus

Immunotherapy has meant a breakthrough in several different tumor types, often leading to long-term responses and improved survival. Unfortunately, the majority of patients do not respond to this treatment. Therefore further research into treatments that will stimulate the anti-tumor immune response in these patients remains necessary.

Pre-clinical and early clinical data indicate that radiotherapy can work synergistically with immunotherapy by acting as an in-situ cancer vaccine. This could potentially lead to improved response rates and hence a longer survival in more patients, without the use of very toxic treatments. 

Our research aims at determining the immune effect of the combination treatment immunotherapy-radiotherapy on a clinical level. Furthermore, translational research will help to pick apart the molecular mechanisms by which this effect occurs. In turn, this can help in identifying new prognostic and predictive biomarkers. 


  • 2016-present: Radiation Oncologist in training at Ghent University
  • 2019-2020: Clinical Research Fellow at the Academic Urology Unit of the Royal Marsden Hospital, London.  
  • 2016-2019: PhD on the combination of Radiotherapy with Immunotherapy at Ghent University Hospital - First Prize Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences PhD award 
  • 2016: Master of Science in Medicine, Ghent University. Magna cum laude
  • Sept 2009: winner ‘European Youth Parliament Debates’,  Rome.

Key publications

  • Phase 2 Trial of Nivolumab Combined With Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in Patients With Metastatic or Locally Advanced Inoperable Melanoma. IJROBP (PMID 30951807)
  • Randomized Phase 1 Trial of Pembrolizumab with Sequential Versus Concomitant Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma. Eur Urol (PMID 30665814)
  • Phase 1 Dose Escalation Trial of Ipilimumab and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma. IJROBP, 2018. (PMID 29485070)
  • Effects of Radiation on the Metastatic Process. Molecular Medicine, 2018. 
  • Pembrolizumab for the treatment of bladder cancer. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther, 2018. (PMID 29284318)
  • A phase I/II trial of fixed-dose stereotactic body radiotherapy with sequential or concurrent pembrolizumab in metastatic urothelial carcinoma: evaluation of safety and clinical and immunologic response. J Transl Med, 2017. (PMID 28662677)
  • A phase II trial of stereotactic body radiotherapy with concurrent anti-PD1 treatment in metastatic melanoma: evaluation of clinical and immunologic response. J Transl Med, 2017. (PMID 28137295)
  • Combining high dose external beam radiotherapy with a simultaneous integrated boost to the dominant intraprostatic lesion: Analysis of genito-urinary and rectal toxicity. Radiother Oncol, 2016 (PMID 27162160)
  • Selective glucocorticoid receptor-activating adjuvant therapy in cancer treatments. Oncoscience, 2016. (PMID 27713909)
  • Selective glucocorticoid receptor modulation: New directions with non-steroidal scaffolds. Pharmacol Ther, 2015 (PMID 25958032)

Contact & links