iCAN logo, map of Finland with five FICAN nodes: Fican South, FICAN West, FICAN Mid, FICAN East, FICAN North

iCAN National Program strengthens profiling, data sharing, and biobanking in Finland

iCAN reached one of its important milestones at the end of 2023, when an agreement was signed between the universities and Wellbeing Service Counties of four regional FICAN centers (Mid, West, East, and North) and University of Helsinki and HUS Helsinki University Hospital, the founding partners of iCAN.

The program is overseen by iCAN National Steering Group chaired by Dean Johanna Arola, and with Outi Kuittinen (FICAN East), Panu Jaakkola (FICAN West), Markus Mäkinen (FICAN North), and Annika Auranen (FICAN Mid) representing the regional cancer centers. iCAN National Program is coordinated by Satu Koskinen from Auria Biobank. She can be reached at ican-fin@helsinki.fi.

The aim of the iCAN National Program is to

  1. Improve equality for cancer patients by providing an opportunity for molecular profiling more broadly in Finland
  2. Develop capabilities in all regional FICAN nodes in molecular profiling and linking health data, including installment of instances of the iCAN data platform regionally 
  3. Improve data structuring and use of common data models (CDM-OMOP) across regional nodes to enable more efficient data sharing and benefits for the patients
  4. Explore possibilities of patient engagement in regional nodes in alignment with Patient and Citizen Advisory Board (PCAB) activities
  5. Leverage the expansion of the iCAN flagship to establish a sustainable national Precision Cancer Medicine program within FICAN 
  6. Improve national biobanking capabilities in the area of cancer

Under the iCAN National Program new local projects are expected to launch at all regional centers during this year.