Novo Nordisk Fonden funding to Westermarck and Ventelä teams to develop new cancer biomarker for clinical use

    Different cancers have very different impact on the patient well-being. However, most of them are treated similarly, even though better treatment results could be achieved by more personalized treatment strategies. Through close collaboration, the research teams of Sami Ventelä and Jukka Westermarck, both group leaders at Turku Bioscience, have recently discovered a novel method to identify subgroups of patients suffering from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

    By the funding from Novo Foundation, they aim to develop these findings to a clinically applicable diagnostic method and take preparative actions for testing its performance in a future randomized clinical trial. Use of this biomarker could allow individualized therapy options thus saving patients from unnecessary side-effects and helping public health systems to fight against ever increasing costs of the cancer care.

    Jukka Westermarck and Sami Ventelä received 1 million DDK (circa 134 126,91€) in funding for “Clinical-grade biomarker for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patient therapy stratification” project.