Translational Cancer Biology Research Program

Research Groups

Alma Flammaintra

Translational Cancer Biology Symposium

The Translational Cancer Biology Research Program together with the Centre of Excellence in Translational Cancer Biology present the Translational Cancer Biology Symposium on September 3, 2015, in Biomedicum Helsinki, Finland.


Research Focus

Translational Cancer Biology Research ProgramThe goal of the Translational Cancer Biology (TCB) Program is the discovery and validation of new mechanisms and targets in human cancer, and translation of the results into medical benefits.

TCB applies multiple genetic engineering and stem cell methods, RNAi and chemical biology technologies to investigate tumors in their microenvironment, to identify new therapeutic molecules affecting genetic driver programs in cancer, and to perform systematic analysis of factors contributing to cellular signaling, reprogramming, migration, and invasion.

To achieve the translational goals of the program, TCB focuses on the development of next-generation in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo cancer models, which are expected to predict the outcome of cancer treatments in the clinic. These include a variety of mouse cancer models, 3D-ex vivo cultures of mouse tumors and patient derived tumor tissue and stem-cell based organoids, as well as genetically tracable non-mammalian models. The models will be analyzed in coordination with the rapidly expanding information available from cancer genomes. Large patient materials are available via the clinical members of the TCB Program.

Participating Groups

The TCB program is formed by 10 active research groups with a strong translational focus in the field of cancer biology. The research program is led by the Finnish cancer biologist and Academy Professor Kari Alitalo. The affiliated groups represent a powerful mix of principal investigators, ranging from prominent senior level basic and clinical scientists to more recently established groups with significant potential. The program is dynamic in nature, and will obviously further develop during the ongoingsix-year program period.

Research in short

Focus on common and currently incurable solid cancers: Colon, breast and prostate cancer, gliomas and melanomas.

Target discovery and validation: Proteomics, viral RNAi screens, cell and molecular biology and quantitative imaging of model organisms and clinical samples, phage display, chemical biology.

Discovery of new cancer therapeutics: Molecular modeling, Chemical biology and pre-clinical therapeutic trials in next generation disease models and pre-ind drugs clinical trials.

Cancer models: 2D and 3D cultures, stem-cell based organoids, human tissue and explant cultures, mouse and patient-xenografts, mouse syngrafts and GEMMs.

Identification of disease models reciprocating with human cancer subtypes. An ongoing effort between basic and clinical investigators of the program.

Scientific excellence

Publications with impact factor > 10: 123.
Publications with impact factor > 15 : 72.

The focus and quality of the research in the TCB will be further developed during the coming years, as a result of the recent and/or ongoing establishment of state-of-the-art infrastructure core facilities, technology platforms and research models by members of the Program. The Finnish Academy Center of Excellence in Translational Cancer Biology will enhance these developments.