MD, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine 1992
Licensed physician 1993
Ph.D. (Thesis), University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine 2001
Specialist in clinical oncology 2005
- Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki - Research assistant Dec 1st-Dec 31st 1988, June 1st-July 11th 1989
- AstraZeneca Finland, Medical Affairs Manager (oncology) 2008- 2009
- Docrates Syöpäsairaala, Lääkehoidon ylilääkäri 2009 -
Tuomo Alanko offers expertise in therapy and research of cancer. His particular interest is directed to cancers of the GI tract, such as cancers of the bowel, stomach, pancreas and liver.
Before his doctoral dissertation in 2001, Tuomo Alanko was involved with biomedical research in the field of cell biology at the Haartman Institute of the University of Helsinki. His research focused on how cell signalling and microenvironment affect programmed cell death, which is an important mechanism of the body that destroys senescent and damaged cells. It was basic research that led Alanko to clinical oncology: a cell biologist knows how a cancer cell “thinks”.
Tuomo Alanko qualified as a specialist in oncology in 2005 at the Department of Oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, where he also began his career as a clinical researcher. He has worked at Docrates since 2009. He gained experience of the pharmaceutical industry during his year-long employment at AstraZeneca. Alanko feels that developing new medicines and treatment options is vital for the Docrates Cancer Center. The most significant trials Alanko has been involved in include the Finnish FinHer trial (investigating trastuzumab as adjuvant treatment of breast cancer) and a phase I trial on oncolytic virus therapy developed by a group led by professor Akseli Hemminki. Alanko wants Docrates to be both a successful research centre and a trusted and desired partner for academia and pharma industry.
The most important and meaningful aspect of Tuomo Alanko’s work, however, is meeting patients. For him it is most rewarding when the patient feels that he or she is getting help. Inmany cases this means pursuing total recovery but also alleviation of symptoms and a better quality of life are important goals. Progress in research and treatment of cancer bring new hope. Gratitude from the patients and their families is especially rewarding.
While this work can be quite taxing at times, Alanko draws strength from his family. As a counterbalance to work, Alanko relaxes by running and by spending time at the summer cottage together with his family.
An active professional network keeps Tuomo Alanko updated. He regards cooperation in the form of consultations and informal discussions with the treatment team as important and rewarding channels for feedback and development. He also gives speeches and lectures and writes articles. . His other commitments include patient organizations and he acts as the current chairman of the executive board of Colores – Finnish Colorectal Cancer Patient Association.