Cancer IO Project
Cancer IO is a cancer immunotherapy focused collaborative research and innovation project that is a part of the Business Finland’s Personalized Health Program
This University of Helsinki coordinated project integrates immuno-oncology (IO) activities at the Universities of Helsinki and Turku, several University hospitals and a central hospital, Finnish small or medium enterprises, cancer patient organizations and the IO-investing pharmaceutical companies. With a total funding of 10 million euros, Cancer IO is one of the largest IO focused research and innovation programs in Europe.
Recently, the rapid development of immuno-oncology (IO) therapies has transformed the cancer treatment landscape for many different types of cancer.
Early capture of IO concepts in research, hospitals and society is important since IO is a fundamentally different approach to cancer treatment. While traditional chemotherapy drugs display more general toxicity acting not only on cancer cells, but also normal cells, IO treatments unlock the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. In essence, IO is a broad therapeutic master plan to outsmart cancer, now becoming available in the clinic with an unprecedented number of new investigational drugs currently developed by established and emerging pharma companies in the world.
Impact of IO on society, research and healthcare
The coming age of IO will have a transformative impact on fundamental and clinical cancer research, healthcare systems, business and, most importantly, on the lives of cancer patients.
Individual Finnish researchers, hospitals and small companies have already excelled in capturing and developing IO strategies to match the ongoing evolution in the field of cancer research and care but, so far these efforts have lacked synergies that broader coordinated national collaborative can offer.
Cancer IO boosts the Finnish IO capabilities by supporting top-level research, business competitiveness, individualization of care and competence in capturing real-world evidence. In broader picture, Cancer IO drives creation of a Finnish IO ecosystem and national IO growth strategy, aiming to provide wealth and well-being through disruptive Finnish IO innovations and better care.
Cancer IO looks at immunotherapies from 360 degree perspective. Our three core themes focus on Society, Research and Health Care.