Personalised medicine paves the way for tailor-made treatment

18 Nov 2010

Personalised medicine is a field that holds a lot of promise as a provider of practices and technology that could help develop more effective treatments for serious diseases such as cancer. Personalised medicine involves tailoring treatment according to the genetic profile and molecular makeup of each patient.

The Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and FiDiPro Professor Jonathan Knowles have been busy setting out plans on how to promote the use of personalised medicine in the treatment of diseases. “Our goal is to put Finland at the international forefront of research in personalised medicine and to promote the wider application of its principles in practical patient care,” says Professor and FIMM Director Olli Kallioniemi.

The deployment of personalised medicine in practical patient care will require broad-based cooperation between different actors in society, including patient organisations, physicians, funding agencies, researchers, business companies and authorities. “We’re hoping that with new research knowledge and new developments, future patient care would gravitate towards a more individual approach,” Kallioniemi says.

Personalised medicine is expected to provide solutions as to how different kinds of treatments and medicines can be targeted at the right patients. Targeted drug treatments can ensure better drug efficacy and fewer long-term side effects.

“For example, we need more detailed analysis of different types of cancer if we want to develop safe and effective drug treatments. We also need more knowledge about individual patients to be able to effectively tailor the treatments to match the patients’ specific needs,” says FiDiPro Professor Knowles. Between 2010 and 2014, Knowles will be working at FIMM with funding from the FiDiPro (Finland Distinguished Professor) programme. FiDiPro is a funding programme jointly launched by the Academy of Finland and Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation to recruit international top-level researchers to Finland.

Physicians at the Cancer and Haematology Ward of Helsinki University Hospital and researchers at FIMM are currently working on a joint research project applying methods of personalised medicine to find optimal treatments for leukaemia patients. The project involves Professor Kimmo Porkka from Helsinki University Hospital and Professors Olli Kallioniemi and Jonathan Knowles from FIMM.

FiDiPro Professor Jonathan Knowles is a pioneer in personalised medicine with more than 20 years’ experience in leading positions in international pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies. Professor Olli Kallioniemi has developed methods that facilitate quick and effective translation of genomic research towards diagnostics and therapeutic applications. Kallioniemi is currently Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM).

The Finland Distinguished Professor Programme (FiDiPro) is a funding programme jointly launched by the Academy of Finland and Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation to recruit international top-level researchers to Finland. The programme has so far provided funding to more than 60 world-class researchers.

More information:
Professor Olli Kallioniemi, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), tel. +358 50 546 8790 (secretary), olli.kallioniemi(at)

Professor Jonathan Knowles, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), jonathan.knowles(at)

For information on the FiDiPro programme, go to

Academy of Finland Communications
Riitta Tirronen
Communications Manager
tel. +358 9 7748 8369, +358 40 828 1724

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