Department of Oncology

The Department of Oncology at the University of Helsinki is the largest oncological teaching and research institution in Finland. It operates under the purview of a department at the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa with the same name which is part of the HUCS Comprehensive Cancer Center and the largest cancer hospital in the country. The centre has received accreditation from the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes with the highest possible status of a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Annually, the centre treats some 25,000 patients, of whom over 9,000 are new patients.

The Department of Oncology is responsible for basic education in oncology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki, specialist education in oncology and postgraduate research education in the field. Research operations at the Department are very active.

The Department of Oncology operates in facilities provided by HUS at Haartmaninkatu (visiting address Haartmaninkatu 4). The Department’s cooperation with both the Helsinki University Central Hospital and the hospital district is close and seamless. Most patients treated in the hospital are patients of the hospital district, but treatment is provided also to cancer patients living elsewhere in Finland.


Studies in oncology provide students with a practical perspective on the prevalence, diagnostics, treatment principles, prognoses and monitoring of cancer. Students will be provided with abilities that are needed when face-to-face with cancer patients in primary health care and at the emergency ward. Basic skills attained during the studies can be advanced with optional courses.

Basic education in medicine includes advanced studies, which can be completed at the Department of Oncology (HUS) in the form of a research project. To many students, the commencement of an advanced research project has served as an impetus to writing their doctoral dissertation. If you are interested in completing advanced studies at the Department of Oncology (HUS), please contact either the appropriate liaisons or the research project contact persons directly.

Physicians specialising in oncology work for a minimum of three years and nine months as physicians in a oncology unit. Specialist education can be completed in its entirety at a department of oncology of a university hospital. No less than two years and six months of the programme must be completed at a department of oncology of a university hospital. The Department of Oncology invests in the orientation of hospital physicians and tailors individual specialisation plans for each specialising physician.


The Department of Oncology (HUS) has long-lasting traditions in both clinical and basic research. In 2016, altogether 159 publications were completed at the Department. An independent clinical research unit operates at the HUCS Cancer Center, conducting clinical trials in phases I–IV. A central objective is to promote the translational nature of research, or increasingly quick and efficient utilisation of research results, for the benefit of cancer patients.

International cooperation is active; the Department of Oncology participates in several international research projects, in addition to which researchers at the Department act as principal investigators (international coordinators) in major multinational research projects.

Basic research is primarily conducted at the Biomedicum Research Programs Unit. Central Finnish partners are the research communities of Medicum, Clinicum and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, other university hospitals and field-specific associations.



Contact details

Head of De­part­ment

professor Sirpa Leppä
PO BOX 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)
Tel. +358 2941 25665 or +358 50 448 6345