World’s second biggest

The cancer challenge collected 119 ideas from citizens and organizations to improve cancer prevention, treatment and life with cancer. The winner and the first runner up of the individual category will be presenting their ideas at the European Research & Innovation Days free online event on Sep 24th 2020.
Check out the winning ideas below.

Individual category

I prize

1 000 €

Diagnosis curator – Eva-Maria Strömsholm
After a cancer diagnosis, every cancer patient should meet a diagnosis curator. A diagnosis curator is a healthcare professional who gives patients the big picture of their situation and helps patients over the worst crisis phase, and thus gives more strength to recover from cancer treatments.

II prize

400 €

Health promoting board game for 4-6th graders – Mikko Viitanen
The health promoting board game would be based on primary school curriculum and become a national tool for health education. The game motivates and engages adolescents to take responsibility of their own well-being in a new, innovative way.

III prize

100 €

ChasingCancer blog empowering patients to make informed decisions – Shishir Pant
How to communicate the latest advancements in cancer research to patients and non-specialists for free, while maintaining the scientific integrity of the findings?

Honoroble mentions:
Making cancer visible with theater – Satu Mustanoja
Adjustment training as remote rehabilitation – Minna Salakari
Early recognition of cachexy – Mira Määttä
Lung cancer challenge – aiming for 25-25 – Paula Lumme

Organisations and Companies

I prize

5 000 €

3D Morphometrix – Wickström Lab (Watch an introduction video)
Cancer is a complex group of diseases. Two patients who have the same diagnosis may in the end have different results for treatment. Especially now that expensive targeted cancer treatment is becoming more and more common, the need for an exact diagnosis is growing. 3D Morphometrix is an AI based tool for image analysis. It screens hundreds of cell characteristics in a biopsy image with help of 3D imaging and helps achieve a more exact diagnosis and choose of individual treatment without the need of biomarkers and expensive special methods.

II prize

2 500 €

May include cytostatics -podcast – Young Cancer Finland ry (Listen to a demo)
May include cytostatics -podcast is a supportive podcast that aims to raise awareness of cancer in young adults, highlight imperfections in cancer treatment and rehabilitation, and offer support to young adults or their close ones. The podcast was a result of collaboration between young adult cancer patients and their close ones. The guests in the podcast are experts by experience and professionals working among cancer.

III prize

1 000 €

Equal and accessible cancer work – Tunne rintasi ry
We propose statutory equal action and accessible information as part of work to reduce the risk of getting cancer and cancer treatment in all sectors. Particularly for the public healthcare sector (in collaboration with other operators), one of the most important tasks is to offer sufficient information, understanding and high quality treatment and appreciative encounters to people who suffer from multiple discrimination and minority stress, and do not usually have the possibility to get healthcare elsewhere.

Honorable mentions:
CancerStopGo mobile game – Saara Ollila research group
“Health bus” – Lounais-Suomen Syöpäyhdistys
“Sun agent 2.0” – Lounais-Suomen Syöpäyhdistys

All ideas may be used in the European Union Cancer Mission.
Take a closer look at the competition rules.

Jury members

Anitta Ahonen

standup comedian

Mikko Siukosaari


Mirjami Tran Minh

project coordinator

Tom Böhling


Janita Niemelä

research nurse


Up to 40% of cancers would be preventable on the European level. For example, cervical cancer could be eradicated almost completely with vaccines already available. Also personal choices have an impact for example in regard to smoking, alcohol use and exposure to sun. Finland screens for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.

How could prevention be improved and where should priorities be placed?

Personalized treatment

Cancer classification is becoming more and more fragmented, and two identical cancers do not exist. Increasing knowledge on genetic changes and other characteristics of individual cancers may enable precisely tailored treatments. Research provides new knowledge that can be leveraged in developing new treatments, changing treatment of cancer toward a more and more individualized direction. Personalized treatment is sometimes expensive and challenges healthcare systems and professionals.

How can we promote development of cancer treatments in the future and ensure that each cancer patient gets the best possible treatment?

Strengthening the patient’s voice

The active participation of patients and their loved ones is an important part of high quality treatment of cancer. Patients should have an important role in developing new cancer treatments or when setting the rules and best practices guiding research, health data, or product development. A cancer diagnosis is never easy to accept, and the cancer journey always leaves a longstanding impact.

In which areas and how should the patient’s voice be strengthened?

Society and equality

We all know someone whose encountered cancer. Therefore cancer touches all of us and has a significant societal impact in several areas. Every cancer patient in Finland should receive equal high-quality care and societal support regardless of where the patient lives or other circumstances.

How is equal cancer care and possibility to participate in trials ensured for everyone living in Finland?

How do you challenge cancer in your life or work? #EuCancerChallenge #syöpähaaste

How could we benefit from patients’ observations and perceptions in cancer care?

Is it possible to beat cancer once and for all?

How does a university challenge cancer?

How are we able to give everyone equal access to treatment?

What does personalized cancer treatment mean?


Supporting the competition


iCAN Digital Precision Cancer Medicine Flagship
University of Helsinki