Skip to main content Deutsch


Elisabeth S. Gruber
Elisabeth S. Gruber, MD PhDSpecialist for General and Visceral Surgery, Specialist for General Medicine

Department of General Surgery (Division of Visceral Surgery)
Position: Consultant

ORCID: 0000-0002-8646-1865

Further Information


Adaptive Immunity; Cachexia; Gastrointestinal Neoplasms; Inflammation; Metabolism; Oncogenes; Pancreatic Cancer; Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine; Physical Fitness; Radiation Effects; Sarcopenia; Translational Medical Research; Tumor Markers, Biological

Research group(s)

Research interests

Translational surgical oncology in gastrointestinal cancer 

1.  Impact of ingested micro- and nanoplastics on gastrointestinal carcinogenicity 

  • objective: to analyze the uptake and deposition of plastic particels in gastrointestinal tissue and its carcinogenic consequences
  • aim: raise awareness of "plastic food products" and imply a rethink of consurmerism culture

2. Exploration of the impact of physical fitness on the outcome in pancreatic cancer patients

  • objective: to understand the impact of physical exercise as well as dietary support on pancreatic cancer outcome
  • aim: delevopment of a prehabilitation concept for pancreatic cancer patients

3. Exploration of predictive biomarkers in gastrointestinal cancer

  • project 1
    • objective: to explore tumor-host interactions by analysis of the patient's inflammation, immune and metabolic profile
    • aim: development of novel therapeutic approaches and biomarkers
  • project 2
    • objective: to understand the impact of the oncogene AF1Q/MLLT11 and its downstream targets
    • aim: development of novel AF1Q/MLLT11-mediated therapeutic approaches and biomarkers

4. Stimulation of adaptive immunity by elaboration of the appopriate radiation dosage to improve tumor immune surveillance in (colo)rectal cancer

  • objective: to explore quantitive and qualitiative radiation-induced immunomodulation
  • aim: definition of a supportive radiation protocol to promote tumor shrinkage/clearance 

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • Blood and tissue samples (biobank)
  • In-vitro cell culture methods, organoid-derived grafts (ODX)
  • Molecular pathology methods (protein DNA and RNA analysis)
  • Digital pathology
  • Laboratory animal and translational pathology, transgenic mouse modelling, patient-derived grafts (PDX), CRISPR-Cas9, RNA knock-down strategies


Selected publications

  1. Gruber, E.S. et al. (2022) ‘To Waste or Not to Waste: Questioning Potential Health Risks of Micro- and Nanoplastics with a Focus on Their Ingestion and Potential Carcinogenicity’, Exposure and Health [Preprint]. Available at:
  2. Gruber, E.S. et al. (2020) ‘The Determination of Immunomodulation and Its Impact on Survival of Rectal Cancer Patients Depends on the Area Comprising a Tissue Microarray’, Cancers, 12(3), p. 563. Available at:
  3. Gruber, E.S. et al. (2020) ‘The Prognostic Index Independently Predicts Survival in Patients with Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Undergoing Resection’, Annals of Surgical Oncology, 27(6), pp. 2017–2024. Available at:
  4. Gruber, E. et al. (2019) ‘The Oncogene AF1Q is Associated with WNT and STAT Signaling and Offers a Novel Independent Prognostic Marker in Patients with Resectable Esophageal Cancer’, Cells, 8(11), p. 1357. Available at:
  5. Gruber, E.S. et al. (2019) ‘Sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity are independent adverse prognostic factors in resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma’, PLOS ONE. Edited by F.X. Real, 14(5), p. e0215915. Available at: