Published: 05-02-2021 13:10 | Updated: 18-02-2021 11:42

KI researchers part of EU project to improve diagnostics and treatment of ovarian cancer with the help of AI 

Photo: Pixabay

The Jussi Taipale Group is part of the 5-year research project whose goal is to discover novel diagnostic tools and effective drug combinations based on data from high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients. The project with 14 international and multidisciplinary partners will be coordinated from the University of Helsinki and has a total budget of 15 million Euros. 

In Europe, over 40,000 women die of ovarian cancer every year. In addition to surgery, most patients are treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the effect of the chemotherapy often decreases during the treatment cycles, and currently there are few effective treatments to those patients who develop resistance to platinum-based drugs.  

The project called DECIDER starts in February and will develop diagnostic tools to identify earlier and more reliably, patients whose cancer is not responding to the current treatments. The research also aims to discover effective combination treatments based on the data measured from the tumours.  

Aim to discover predictive biomarkers for clinical response 

Jussi Taipale. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

“Our group will characterize the regulatory processes that cause chemotherapy resistance of ovarian cancer cells. We will map the gene expression profile at a single-cell resolution to uncover how different drug-responses are mediated by distinct clonal subpopulations within a tumour and thereby define the changes associated with drug-resistance. These results will then be used to discover predictive biomarkers for clinical response”, says Jussi Taipale, professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics. 

The Taipale group has been allocated 10% of the total budget, 1.5 million Euro. 


DECIDER (Clinical Decision via Integrating Multiple Data Levels to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer) partners and persons in charge of the research: 

  • University of Helsinki, Finland (Sampsa Hautaniemi, Olli Carpén, Päivi Korpisaari) 
  • Hospital District of Southwest Finland (Johanna Hynninen) 
  • HUS Helsinki University Hospital, Finland (Anni Virtanen) 
  • Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (Jussi Taipale) 
  • Danish Cancer Society, Denmark (Tuula Kallunki) 
  • Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany (Julio Saez-Rodriguez) 
  • Institut Pasteur, France (Benno Schwikowski) 
  • University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (Elisa Ficarra) 
  • Insitute for Research in Biomedicine, Spain (Fran Supek) 
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain (Salvador Capella) 
  • Aiforia Technologies Oy, Finland (Kaisa Helminen) 
  • VEIL.AI Ltd, Finland (Tuomo Pentikäinen) 
  • 2cureX A/S, Denmark (Ole Thastrup) 
  • AB ANALITICA SRL (Diego Boscarino) 

In advisory role representing cancer patients viewpoint: Cancer Society of Finland and Association of Cancer Patients in Finland. 
The project has been funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 965193.