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The two key tasks of the Cancer Foundation are to fund cancer research and support work on cancer. The strategy adopted in 2014 and the 2016 renewed the rules and regulations bolster these two tasks.

The Cancer Foundation is the country’s most important private supporter of cancer research. The goal of the key programme being carried out under the strategy is to raise the level of Finnish cancer research and to double the total amount of grants from about €3.5 million (2014) to €7 million (2020). We reached this goal ahead of time: in autumn 2018 the total sum of disbursed grants exceeded the €7 million mark. The amount also included grants paid from the Cancer Society’s funds. In November 2018, the board of the Cancer Foundation decided to award two unassigned major grants of €450 000 and one €300 000 major grant for research on childhood cancer. In addition, one €450 000 major grant was awarded from the Cancer Society’s Patient Path fund

The Cancer Foundation also supported the work of the Finnish Cancer Registry to the tune of €1,15 million. The foundation awarded grants to the Nordic Cancer Union (NCU) for research collaboration and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to promote the mobility of researchers from developing countries.

In furthering its objectives, the Cancer Foundation supports the work of the Cancer Society of Finland and its member associations. For the sixth consecutive year, the Cancer Foundation provided over half a million euros for the Cancer Society’s advisory services and cancer prevention work.

The Cancer Society’s fundraising work has concentrated on the Cancer Foundation.

A significant portion of the foundation’s fundraising income comes from legacies, amounting in 2018 to 47 per cent. The significance of other forms of fundraising has grown steadily due to systematic development work and carefully considered marketing communications. The Cancer Foundation’s brand is increasingly well known, and its sub-brand the Pink Ribbon fundraising campaign became in 2018 the preferred source of donations, according to a survey by the Taloustutkimus market research company. 2018 was the sixteenth Pink Ribbon campaign, generating about €2,3 million, the largest sum so far.

2018 was the 70th anniversary of the Cancer Foundation and was celebrated throughout the year under the theme ‘Finland’s Most Important Grant’. During the campaign the public was asked to give to that most important grant money to the Cancer Foundation. President Sauli Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio were the patrons of the fundraising campaign campaign. Our first major fundraising campaign was in 1950 – 51, for which President Juho Kusti Paasikivi and First Lady Alli Paasikivi were the patrons. The jubilee fundraising campaign achieved a great deal of visibility and total fundraising income rose to €11,3 million for 2018. In addition to the fundraising campaign, the Cancer Foundation focused the attention of decision makers and the public to the problems of funding for medicine, especially with the collapse over time of state budget funding for health research.

At the beginning of the year, the Cancer Foundation commissioned an interview-based survey of senior researchers who had received a grant from the Cancer Foundation on the financing of cancer research. The researchers highlighted the lack of basic funding for universities and the tightening of competition for public funding. For the respondents, the Cancer Foundation’s funding was a very important source of financing and it was considered that its importance would grow in the future.

The Cancer Foundation symposium was held for the 45th time, and focused on gynaecological cancers. I was the second time that the symposium was held at Hotel Korpilampi, in Espoo. The symposium, which the Cancer Foundation holds annually, is a highly esteemed and influential event in the field of cancer treatment. Cooperation with the Duodecim Medical Journal continued with the publishing of review articles based on the symposium presentations so as to reach a wider range of specialists.