FICAN South comprises of HUS Helsinki University Hospital, Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing (PHHYKY), Joint Authority for Kymenlaakso Social and Health Care Services (Kymsote), South Karelia Social and Health Care District (Eksote), and University of Helsinki, which is in charge of medical research and education.

We operate in Southern Finland as part of the National Cancer Center Finland (FICAN)

Regional cancer centers were launched in 2018 and they operate in university hospitals in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Kuopio, and Oulu. The regional cancer centers and the unit coordinating national activities together make up the National Cancer Center Finland FICAN, which aims to improve and streamline cancer treatment on a national level, and make sure that all patients have equal access to high quality care. FICAN South cooperates with other regional cancer centers. Together we create a new operating model to promote current and high quality cancer care and research in Finland.

To develop our activities, FICAN South has launched several cooperation projects

In our cooperation projects, the participants must be from at least two different FICAN South regional units, or from two different divisions or research groups in a single region.

FICAN South has granted funding for scientific research and clinical development projects for 2019

Scientific research projects

COLORECTAL CANCER PROGRESSION AND THERAPY IN STEM CELL-BASED ORGANOIDS AND TRANSGENIC MOUSE MODELS
Principal investigator: Academy professor Kari Alitalo, University of Helsinki

A TISSUE-BASED TEST TO IDENTIFY PATIENTS BENEFITING FROM PLATINUM AND PARP INHIBITORS
Principal investigator: Professor Olli Carpén, University of Helsinki & HUSLAB

CIRCULATING TUMOR DNA LIQUID BIOPSY ANALYSIS TO OPTIMIZE OVARIAN CANCER TREATMENT
Principal investigators: Professor Sampsa Hautaniemi, University of Helsinki and Chief Physician Mikko Loukovaara, HUS

FACTORS PREDICTING RESPONSE TO TARGETED THERAPIES IN ACUTE MYELOID LEUKEMIA AND OVERCOMING RESISTANCE WITH NOVEL COMBINATIONS
Principal investigator: MD, PhD Mika Kontro, Specialist in Hematology
HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center and Postdoctoral researcher, PhD Heikki Kuusanmäki, University of Helsinki

APPLICATION OF MOLECULAR PROFILING AND DRUG SCREENING IN EARLY CLINICAL TRIALS
Principal investigator: Professor Sirpa Leppä, University of Helsinki & HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center

NOVEL BIOMARKERS FOR IMMUNO-ONCOLOGICAL TREATMENTS
Principal investigator: Professor Satu Mustjoki, University of Helsinki & HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center

DEEP MACHINE LEARNING OF BONE MARROW MORPHOLOGY FOR RAPID DIAGNOSIS OF ACUTE LEUKEMIA
Professor Kimmo Porkka, University of Helsinki & HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center

NEXT GENERATION CLINICAL TRIAL DEDUCER: DEVELOPMENT OF DIAGNOSTICS AND TREATMENT OF UROLOGICAL CANCERS
Principal investigator: Professor Antti Rannikko, University of Helsinki & HUS Abdominal Center, Urology

DISCOVERY AND THERAPEUTIC EXPLOITATION OF IMMUNOLOGICAL VULNERABILITIES IN HIGH GRADE SERIOUS OVARIAN CANCER USING SINGLE CELL APPROACHES
Principal investigators:  Academy research fellow, PhD, Anna Vähärautio, University of Helsinki and MD, PhD, Anniina Färkkilä, University of Helsinki & Helsinki University Hospital

Clinical Development projects

ENHANCING THE EFFICACY OF CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING IN SOUTHERN FINLAND: HPV screening, self-sampling and novel TRIAGE biomarkers
Principal investigator: Adjunct professor Eeva Auvinen, HUS & HUSLAB, University of Helsinki

DEVELOPMENT OF PALLIATIVE NURSE CONSULTANT WORK FRAME FOR SPECIAL HEALTH CARE AT HELSINKI UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL SPECIFIC CATCHMENT AREA
Project director: MSc Heli Mikkonen, HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center

STANDARDIZATION OF DIAGNOSTICS, TREATMENT AND FOLLOW-UP OF SKIN CANCERS IN FICAN South AREA
Principal investigators: Doc Sari Pitkänen ja MD, PhD Leea Ylitalo, Skin and Allergy Hospital, Inflammation Center, HUS

ENHANCED RECOVERY AFTER CYSTECTOMY – NEW PROTOCOL OPTIMIZING PATIENTS CONDITION PRIOR AND AFTER RADICAL CYSTECTOMY
Principal investigator: MD, PhD Jukka Sairanen, Head Physician HUS Abdominal Center, Urology

HARMONIZATION AND AUTOMATION OF NORMAL TISSUE NOMENCLATURE AND OUTLINING TECHNIQUES FOR THE RADIOTHERAPY IN THE FICAN South AREA
Principal investigator: Chief Medical Physicist Mikko Tenhunen, HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center

Applications and evaluation

FICAN South received a total of 58 applications for funding, of which 46 were applications for scientific research projects and 12 for clinical development projects.

The applications were evaluated by the FICAN South scientific committee. The non-disqualified (no COI) members of the committee reviewed all applications. A scale of 0 (worse) to 6 (best) based on the criteria stated in the call for applications was used in the evaluation. In addition to scientific excellence particularly important criteria were the participation of at least two FICAN South parties in the project and the applicability of the project results on a wider scale. Funding was granted to nine scientific research projects and five clinical development projects, totaling EUR 648.123.

Further information:
Professor Sampsa Hautaniemi
Chairman of the Scientific Committee, FICAN South
email: sampsa.hautaniemi@helsinki.fi