A group photo

Rare Cancer Patient Day concludes the series of iCAN patient-researcher meetups in 2023

A rare cancer project by FICAN South and Mid, and the Association of Cancer patients in Finland organized a Patient day for people living with rare cancers, their loved ones, and anyone interested in the theme on Nov 9, 2023.

As the grande finale of the day, the iCAN-RARE PI Outi Monni introduced the project. iCAN-RARE collects samples of sarcomas, head and neck cancers, neuroendocrine and rare gynecological tumors among other rare tumors. The purpose of iCAN-RARE is to establish a national network of clinicians involved in the treatment of patients with rare tumors to enhance tumor sample collection and to harmonize treatment protocols. The goal is to find novel therapeutic options and drug response-related cellular mechanisms by performing drug screening from cultured patient samples. This is done with the help of bioinformatics and modern technologies to improve the diagnostics and survival estimates. Monni’s talk got a warm reception and raised interest in biobank research in general as well. Participants from all over Finland expressed their willingness to donate their samples to iCAN.  

The meetup ended with an immersive lab-tour, where the participants had – with guidance from Iida Lindfors, Anne Mäkelä, Hanna Verkasalo, and Juho Väänänen – a wonderful opportunity to explore and see how research is conducted in the lab. Thank you to iCAN-RARE team and the participants for great presentations and questions!

Since the launch of the patient-researcher meetups in Nov 2022, iCAN PIs and researchers from seven subprojects have been involved in the activities. It has been wonderful to witness the warm atmosphere and the shared vision and goal of both the researchers and the patient community to tackle cancer together. We are looking forward to the highly motivating, interesting and heart-warming meetups in 2024!