Antti Jekunen


Specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy
M.D., Ph.D., Adj.Prof., Assoc.Prof.


Planning of treatment packages, patient care optimization and the application of new drug therapies into practice.

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Antti Jekunen’s expertise includes planning comprehensive treatment and optimising patient care, as well as the application of new methods of pharmacotherapy. He is a graduate of the University of Oulu, and research made already during his studies led to a doctoral dissertation on the leukemia cellular effects of the drug 5-methyldeoxycytidine. Jekunen acquired post-doctoral education from the University of San Diego (USA) from the Pharmacology Laboratory in 1990-1992. Jekunen specialised in cancer and radiotherapy at Helsinki University Central Hospital, and was awarded the honorary title of Adjunct Professor already during his specialisation.

His interest in clinical anticancer drug research led him to become a leader in clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry in 1996. His work in the pharmaceutical industry involved global pharmaceutical research for 12 years around the globe. Jekunen has extensive first-line drug development experience, including platinum and taxane anticancer drugs, antibodies and immunotherapy. He has developed a total of over 50 new anticancer drugs, many of which are now part of the oncologist practice.

Jekunen returned to clinical work in 2009 as Chief Physician of the Kokkola Oncology Unit before moving to work as Chief Physician of the Vaasa Oncology Clinic in 2011. He received his professorship of clinical oncology in Turku in 2013, and still works with this post in Vaasa.

Jekunen is an active organiser and influencer through professional networks, working in the Turku Biobank and Vocational Training Group and as an EVO funding assessor. He is also a member of the Ostrobothnian Cancer Society and a founding member of the Finnish Lung Cancer Association.

Jekunen is a well-liked lecturer. He gives five expert lectures each year, plus bachelor-level lectures, and teaches comprehensive treatment decision optimisation across all indications for medical students, amanuensis and specialising physicians. He is active in clinical oncology research, including projects in new anticancer drugs, antibody therapies, and immunotherapy in all cancer indications. He is also an expert in the pharmaceutical industry in new treatments and drug registration issues.

Jekunen attaches great importance to the patient’s participation in the treatment decision so that the treatment options are weighed together and the best one is chosen for the treatment. In particular, he wants to invest in new anticancer drugs for comprehensive treatments to optimise the patient’s cancer treatment. This is supported by his extensive knowledge and experience of anticancer drugs and their combinations.

In his spare time, Jekunen reads cartoons, drives an old convertible car and tries to train his Old English Sheepdog. His family and three adult children are also important to him.


Adj. Prof. in Clinical Medicine Research, University of Helsinki 1999
Adj. Prof. in Applied Oncology, University of Turku 1999
Specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy, University of Helsinki 1996
Adj. Prof. in Experimental Oncology, University of Helsinki 1995-1999
Ph.D., University of Oulu, 1988
Medical Doctor, University of Oulu, 1986
Special Competence in the Pharmaceutical Area and Administration and Special Competence of a Trainer Doctor (SLL)
Diploma in Pharmacology (UCSD, USA)
Qualification in Process Management and Work Supervision (Palmenia, HY)
Management studies (Management Centre of Europe, Brussels)
Post Doc Researcher (UCSD, California, USA)
Second lieutenant (Medical Reserve Officer School)

Work history

  • TY, Assoc.Prof. in Clinical Oncology
  • HY, Specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy
  • Vaasa Central Hospital, Oncology Clinic, Chief Physician

Scientific activities

Doctoral Dissertation on cancer drug testing and cell pharmacology in a cell culture model. More than 80 peer-reviewed publications, mostly in the field of drug therapy development. Participation in the development of more than 50 cancer drugs. The most important on-going research projects: gene-controlled treatments, applying The Oncological Treatment Decision Making and Complexity -theory to a hospital organization. Special interests: immuno and antibody therapy, drug order optimization and organizational development.