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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Precision Oncology and Cancer Biomarkers

Issues at Stake and Matters of Concern

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • Brings together an interdisciplinary group of expert scholars on the timely issue of precision oncology

  • Proposes a highly reflexive and critical perspective on precision oncology by going beyond the common perceived goodness

  • Takes a unique actor-centred approach allowing new insights into how imagine and work with this concept

Part of the book series: Human Perspectives in Health Sciences and Technology (HPHST, volume 5)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    • Anne Bremer, Roger Strand
    Pages 1-15Open Access
  3. Introduction to the Imaginary of Precision Oncology

    • Caroline Engen
    Pages 17-28Open Access
  4. Precision Oncology in the News

    • Mille Sofie Stenmarck, Irmelin W. Nilsen
    Pages 29-44Open Access
  5. “Reconstruction of Trouble”

    • Hanna Elisabet Dillekås
    Pages 61-68Open Access
  6. Lost in Translation

    • Karen Rosnes Gissum
    Pages 69-95Open Access
  7. HER2 Revisited: Reflections on the Future of Cancer Biomarker Research

    • Anne Bremer, Elisabeth Wik, Lars A. Akslen
    Pages 97-119Open Access
  8. Crossing the Styx: If Precision Medicine Were to Become Exact Science

    • Roger Strand, Dominique Chu
    Pages 133-154Open Access
  9. Publication Bias in Precision Oncology and Cancer Biomarker Research; Challenges and Possible Implications

    • Maria Lie Lotsberg, Stacey Ann D’mello Peters
    Pages 155-174Open Access
  10. Filled with Desire, Perceive Molecules

    • Roger Strand, Caroline Engen
    Pages 251-267Open Access
  11. Conclusions: The Biomarkers That Could Be Born

    • Roger Strand, Anne Bremer
    Pages 269-276Open Access
  12. Back Matter

    Pages 277-281

About this book

This open access book reflects on matters of social and ethical concern raised in the daily practices of those working in and around precision oncology. Each chapter addresses the experiences, concerns and issues at stake for people who work in settings where precision oncology is practiced, enacted, imagined or discussed. It subsequently discusses and analyses bioethical dilemmas, scientific challenges and economic trade-offs, the need for new policies, further technological innovation, social work, as well as phenomenological research.

This volume takes a broad actor-centred perspective as, whenever cancer is present, the range of actors with issues at stake appears almost unlimited. This perspective and approach opens up the possibility for further in-depth and diverse questions, posed by the actors themselves, such as: How are cancer researchers navigating biological uncertainties? How do clinicians and policy-makers address ethical dilemmas around prioritisation of care? What are the patients’ experiences with, and hopes for, precision oncology? How do policy-makers and entrepreneurs envisage precision oncology? These questions are of great interest to a broad audience, including cancer researchers, oncologists, policy-makers, medical ethicists and philosophers, social scientists, patients and health economists.


  • cancer biomarkers
  • Sociology of medicine
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Oncology
  • Philosophy of medicine
  • precision oncology
  • personalised cancer treatments
  • health technology assessment
  • Open access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Centre for Cancer Biomarkers, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

    Anne Bremer, Roger Strand

About the editors

Anne Bremer is a senior researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Bergen, Norway. Anne’s background is broadly in Science and Technology Studies (STS), and she has been working for ten years on various projects studying how science is employed for complex and uncertain health and environmental challenges. Since 2014 her work has focussed on the ethical, legal and social aspects of cancer research, particularly precision oncology and cancer biomarkers, including what constitutes responsible research in those fields. As a researcher affiliated with the Centre for Cancer Biomarkers in Bergen, Anne is integrated within an interdisciplinary precision oncology community, and works closely with scientists – from oncologists to health economists, health philosophers and ethicists – to nurture critical reflections on the broader social context of their research. This is done in different ways, from courses to seminars, to co-authored pieces. Her experiences have been distilled in various publications, including Mapping Ethical and Social Aspects of Cancer Biomarkers (New Biotechnology; 2016), and co-editing the volume Cancer Biomarkers: Ethics, Economics and Society (Megaloceros Press; 2017). 

Roger Strand is Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities and the Centre for Cancer Biomarkers (CCBIO) at the University of Bergen, Norway, and Adjunct Professor at Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. At CCBIO, Strand is the Principal Investigator for Team 4 that researches ethical and societal aspects of cancer biomarkers and cancer research. Originally trained as a natural scientist (PhD, biochemistry 1998), Strand developed research interests in the philosophy of science and has worked on issues of scientific uncertainty and complexity, including the theory of post-normal science. This has gradually led his research into broader strands of social research, philosophy and broader issues of policy, decision-making and governance at the science-society interface.  He has coordinated two EU FP7 projects (TECHNOLIFE and EPINET), which both addressed the need for more dynamic governance of science in society. He was a member of the National Research Ethics Committee for Science and Technology in Norway (2006-2013) and Chair of the European Commission Expert Group on Indicators for Responsible Research and Innovation (2014-2015). He is one of the Directors of the European Centre for Governance in Complexity.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)