Close up of cells


Mr Mikael Sodergren

Lab/office contact number
0203 313 8542

What we do

We study techniques that modify the immune response to tumours, with particular emphasis on hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) cancers. Our current focus is defining the immunomodulatory mechanism of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) at a microscopic, cellular and molecular level, so that it can be used selectively as a primer for immunotherapy in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Other immunogenic tumour priming techniques of interest include stereotactic radiotherapy and cryoablation.

Why it is important

The 5-year & 10-year survival of PDAC is ~3.5% and <1% making it almost universally fatal. Advances in surgery, peri-operative care and systemic chemotherapy have not significantly improved the prognosis of PDAC for several decades. Early clinical trials of immunotherapy have yielded disappointing results however there is evidence of mechanisms in the tumour microenvironment which serve to decrease the immune response, and it has been observed that immunogenic subtypes of pancreatic cancer carry a better prognosis. There is therefore an urgent need to address the systemic treatment of this aggressive disease.

How it can benefit patients

This research seeks to reveal new drug targets or combination treatments that improve the efficacy of therapy with direct translation to clinical trials. The experimental pipelines will be used to study other immunomodulatory treatments for a range of different solid tumours.

Summary of current research

  • In vivo syngeneic models of PDAC and HCC are used to evaluate the clinical and molecular effect of RFA in combination with cytotoxic and immunotherapies
  • Quantification of adaptive immune response in the tumour microenvironment using FACS and IHC
  • Defining molecular subtype changes in the tumour using gene expression profiling (Nanostring) following immunomodulatory treatment
  • Clinical translation – current trials include the ARDEO study (A phase II prospective randomised clinical study of endoscopic ultrasound guided radiofrequency ablation (EUS-RFA) for inoperable ductal pancreatic carcinoma)

Additional information

For patients

PhD students

When we have funding for PhD studentships, we advertise them through central channels such as Find a PhD. Information is also available on the  Surgery and Cancer study page. If no studentships are currently advertised, please get in touch with the group lead with proposed project titles to discuss further.  


  1. Sodergren MH, Mangal N, Wasan H, Sadanandam A, Balachandran VP, Jiao LR, Habib N. Immunological combination treatment holds the key to improving survival in pancreatic cancer. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2020 Nov;146(11):2897-2911

  2. da Costa AC, Sodergren M, Jayant K, Santa Cruz F, Spalding D, Pai M, Habib N. Radiofrequency combined with immunomodulation for hepatocellular carcinoma: State of the art and innovations. World J Gastroenterol. 2020 May 7;26(17):2040-2048. 

  3. Sarker D, Plummer R, Meyer T, Sodergren M, Basu B, Chee CE, Huang KW, Palmer DH, Ma YT, Evans TRJ, Spalding DR, Pai M, Sharma R, Pinato DJ, Spicer J, Hunter S, Kwatra V, Nicholls JP, Collin D, Nutbrown R, Glenny H, Fairbairn S, Reebye V, Voutila J, Dorman S, Andrikakou P, Lloyd P, Felstead S, Vasara J, Habib R, Wood C, Sætrom P, Huber HE, Blakey DC, Rossi JJ, Habib N. MTL-CEBPA, a small activating RNA therapeutic up-regulating C/EBP-α, in patients with advanced liver cancer: a first-in-human, multi-centre, open-label, phase I trial. Clin Cancer Res. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Aug 1;26(15):3936-3946.

  4. Yoon S, Huang KW, Andrikakou P, Vasconcelos D, Swiderski P, Reebye V, Sodergren MH, Habib N, Rossi JJ. Targeted Delivery of C/EBPα-saRNA by RNA Aptamers Shows Anti-tumor Effects in a Mouse Model of Advanced PDAC. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2019 Dec 6;18:142-154. 

  5. Jiao LR, Fajardo Puerta AB, Gall TMH, Sodergren MH, Frampton AE, Pencavel T, Nagendran M, Habib NA, Darzi A, Pai M, Thomas R, Tait P. Rapid Induction of Liver Regeneration for Major Hepatectomy (REBIRTH): A Randomized Controlled Trial of Portal Vein Embolisation versus ALPPS Assisted with Radiofrequency. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Mar 4;11(3). pii: E302. 

  6. Zhou J, Li H, Xia X, Herrera A, Pollock N, Reebye V, Sodergren MH, Dorman S, Littman BH, Doogan D, Huang K-W, Habib R, Blakey D, Habib N, Rossi J, Anti-inflammatory activity of MTL-CEBPA, a Small Activating RNA drug, in LPS-stimulated monocytes and humanized mice, Mol Ther. 2019 May 8;27(5):999-1016

  7. Huang KW, Jayant K, Lee PH, Yang PC, Hsiao CY, Habib N, Sodergren MH. Positive Immuno-Modulation Following Radiofrequency Assisted Liver Resection in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. J Clin Med. 2019 Mar 19;8(3):385

  8. Jayant K, Sodergren MH, Reccia I, Kusano T, Zacharoulis D, Spalding D, Pai M, Jiao LR, Huang KW. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Liver Resection with the Rf-Based Device Habib™-4X with the Clamp-Crush Technique. Cancers (Basel). 2018 Nov 8;10(11). pii: E428

  9. Mazmishvili K, Kumar J, Janikashvili N, Kikodze N, Mizandari M, Pantsulaia I, Paksashvili H, Sodergren MH, Reccia I, Pai M, Habib N, Chikovani T. Study to evaluate the immunomodulatory effects of radiofrequency ablation compared to surgical resection for liver cancer. J Cancer. 2018; 9(17): 3187-3195. doi: 10.7150/jca.25084

  10. Reccia I, Kumar J, Habib N, Sodergren MH. The use of radiofrequency ablation in pancreatic cancer in the midst of the dawn of immuno-oncology. Med Oncol. 2018 Oct 4;35(12):151

  11. Kumar J, Reccia I, Sodergren MH, Kusano T, Zanellato A, Pai A, Spalding D, Zacharoulis D, Habib N. Radiofrequency assisted pancreaticoduodenectomy for palliative surgical resection of locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Oncotarget. 2018 Feb 28;9(21):15732-15739

  12. Reccia I, Sodergren MH, Jayant K, Kurz E, Carneiro A, Spalding D, Pai M, Jiao L, Habib N. The journey of radiofrequency-assisted liver resection. Surg Oncol. 2018 Jun;27(2):A16-A18 doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2018.01.004

  13. Jiao LR, Hakim DN, Gall TM, Fajardo A, Pencavel TD, Fan R, Sodergren MH. A totally laparoscopic associating liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy assisted with radiofrequency (radiofrequency assisted liver partition with portal vein ligation) for staged liver resection. Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr. 2016 Aug;5(4):382-7.

  14. Edmondson MJ, Sodergren MH, Pucher PH, Darzi A, Li J, Petrowsky H, Campos RR, Serrablo A, Jiao LR. Variations and adaptations of associated liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy (ALPPS): Many routes to the summit. Surgery. 2016 Apr;159(4):1058-72

  15. Jiao LR, Gall T, Sodergren MH. Hammersmith Associating Liver Partition with Portal Vein Ligation for Staged Hepatectomy (HALPPS). J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech Part B Videoscopy. 2014, DOI: 10.1089/vor.2014.0219.

  16. Gall TM, Sodergren MH, Frampton AE, Fan R, Spalding DR, Habib NA, Pai M, Jackson JE, Tait P, Jiao LR. Radio-frequency-Assisted Liver Partition With Portal Vein Ligation (RALPP) for Liver Regeneration. Ann Surg. 2015 Feb;261(2):e45-6.

Our researchers