About us

The PELICAN (Project to ELIminate lethal CANcer) Personalized Cancer Medicine (PCM) group is focused on performing deep integrated clinical-molecular studies of high-risk and metastatic prostate cancer. By using combined clinical and phylogenetic analysis in tissue, blood, and other body fluids, we have contributed to understanding the evolution of lethal prostate cancer using phylogenetic methods, and we are performing combined basic science and clinical trials to develop improved, personalized methods to provide benefit to prostate cancer patients and improved decision support for the physicians and others who care for prostate cancer patients.

The Present and Future of Prostate Cancer Treatment recorded in Summer 2017:

Research interests and expertise

Advancing methods for integration of tissue molecular findings and mechanistic studies of cancer
Developing approaches for effective personalized cancer medicine primarily focused on high risk prostate cancer
Molecular autopsy studies of cancer
Deep integrated whole genome, transcriptome, and epigenetic studies of lethal prostate cancer
Improving methods for translation of basic science findings to clinical utility, including methods enhancing reproducibility and transparency of research results


Recent advances include initial models of origins and evolution of lethal prostate cancer, simulation of personalized cancer medicine with insights into evolution of resistance to current therapy, identification of extensive transduction of nonrepetitive DNA mediated by L1 retrotransposition in prostate cancer, and improved methods for obtaining high quality histology and molecular data from whole mount processed prostate tissues.

The PELICAN-PCM group is fortunate to be deeply integrated in our multidisciplinary Tampere Prostate Cancer Research Center, where we collaborate closely in areas of Molecular Biology (Tapio Visakorpi), Computational Biology (Matti Nykter), Bioimage Analysis (Pekka Ruusuvuori), Epidemiology (Anssi Auvinen), Urology (Teuvo Tammela and Teemu Murtola), Pathology (Teemu Tolonen), and Genetics (Johanna Schleutker).

Our research work is supported through facilities on the Kauppi campus of Tampere University, including the Arvo research facilities.

Collaboration offer and requests

Our laboratory contributes to International Cancer Genome Consortium efforts through our role as one of the principal investigators in the CRUK-funded Prostate Cancer UK group. Published research findings and data are referenced in our publications.
We are fortunate to be in active research collaborations with scientists at institutions listed in our publications, including the Oxford Big Data Institute (David Wedge), the Francis Crick Institute (Peter Van Loo), Johns Hopkins University (Bill Isaacs laboratory), the Institute for Cancer Research (Ros Eeles and Johann de Bono), and the UK PEACE study by Charles Swanton and Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, and several others.

Major Publications

Högnäs G, Kivinummi K, Kallio HML, Hieta R, Ruusuvuori P, Koskenalho A, Kesseli J, Tammela TLJ, Riikonen J, Ilvesaro J, Kares S, Hirvikoski P, Laurila M, Mirtti T, Nykter M, Kujala PM, Visakorpi T, Tolonen T, BOVA GS. Feasibility of prostate PAXgene fixation for molecular research and diagnostic surgical pathology: Comparison of matched fresh frozen, FFPE and PFPE tissues. Am J Surg Pathol. 2017; Epub ahead of print.
BOVA GS. Cancer Genomics: Human metastases under scrutiny. Nature 548 (7667):287-288, 2017.
BOVA GS, Kallio HML, Annala M, Kivinummi K, Högnäs G, Häyrynen S, Rantapero T, Kivinen V, Isaacs WB, Tolonen T, Nykter M, Visakorpi T. Integrated clinical, whole genome, and transcriptome analysis of multisampled lethal prostate cancer. Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies 2(3), 2016.
Gundem G, Van Loo P, Kremeyer B, Alexandrov LB, Tubio JMC, Papaemmanuil E, Brewer DS, Kallio HML, Högnäs G, Annala M, Kivinummi K, Goody V, Latimer C, O’Meara S, Dawson KJ, Isaacs W, Emmert-Buck MR, Nykter M, Foster C, Kote-Jarai Z, Easton D, Whitaker HC, Neal DE, Cooper CS,Eeles RA, Visakorpi T, Campbell PJ, McDermott U, Wedge DC, and BOVA GS. The Evolutionary History of Lethal Metastatic Prostate Cancer. Nature 520, 353-7, 2015.
Tubio JM, Li Y, Ju YS, Martincorena I, Cooke SL, Tojo M, Gundem G, Pipinikas CP, Zamora J, Raine K, Menzies A, Roman-Garcia P, Fullam A, Gerstung M, Shlien A, Tarpey PS, Papaemmanuil E, Knappskog S, Van Loo P, Wedge DC, Nik-Zainal S, Alexandrov L, Visakorpi T, Isaacs WB, van’t Veer L, Caldas C, Desmedt C, Aparicio S, Foekens JA, Eyfjörd JE, Lakhani SR, Span PN, Børresen-Dale AL, Richardson AL, Van de Vijver M, Vincent-Salomon A, Van den Eynden GG, Flanagan AM, Futreal PA, Janes SM, BOVA GS, Stratton MR, McDermott U, Campbell PJ. Mobile DNA in cancer. Extensive transduction of nonrepetitive DNA mediated by L1 retrotransposition in cancer genomes. Science 45(6196):1251343, 2014