Research and development

HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center is the largest center for cancer research in Finland.

The clinical trial unit studies new cancer treatments not yet publicly available. Most commonly the research target is a new cancer medication that has not yet been granted market authorisation.

Comprehensive Cancer Center is the second university cancer hospital in Europe and the first in the Nordic countries to be granted the highest CCC (Comprehensive Cancer Center) status by OECI (European Organisation of Cancer Institutes) which is the umbrella organisation for all European cancer hospitals.

In accordance with the CCC status, the Cancer Center offers patients timely, high-quality, multiprofessional treatment in which the new therapies made possible by medical research projects are a central factor.

The Cancer Center performs phase I – IV clinical threapy trials. The unit employs 12 research nurses, a unit secretary, and physicians who perform clinical trials. The Center also conducts investigator-initiated studies, many of which are international studies. Additionally, the Cancer Center is an active participant in many international multicenter trials. On average, 40 new trials begin every year in the Cancer Center.

The early-phase clinical trial unit performs research on the effectiveness and safety of medical therapies in development, and seeks patients who would best benefit from clinical trials. Pharmaceutical trials assess the effectiveness and side effects of a drug. Patients taking part in trials have generally already received conventional therapy but it has lost its effectiveness.

National and international collaboration

The clinical trial unit collaborates with both national and international partners. Significant national partners include various Helsinki University Hospital clinics, Biomedicum Helsinki and the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM). In total, around 700 to 800 researchers work in these units and many of their research topics involve the origin and biology of cancer. Biomedicum Helsinki offers research programs for biology of cancer and systems biology.  

The unit cooperates with several international research organizations in active clinical trials, including Nordic Lymphoma Group, Breast International Group, Scandinavian Sarcoma Group, Nordic NECT and EORTC (European Organisation of Research and Treatment of Cancer), and with national research groups.  HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center develops cancer therapies in collaboration with several companies. These include e.g. pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of radiation therapy equipment, and IT companies.