The two comprehensive cancer centres are the first two European centres to meet thirteen criteria for excellence for translational research: the research that forms the link between fundamental research and the clinic. These criteria range from having a view on the way in which translational research will change the treatment of cancer to carrying out a minimum of three large multidisciplinary research projects across the spectrum from fundamental research to clinical trials.
'The beauty of this recognition is that it makes a statement about our ability to bridge the gap between fundamental research and the clinic,' says René Medema, Chairman of the Board at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.
In the case of translational research, structural communication and collaboration between researchers and doctors are crucial. The Netherlands Cancer Institute is praised for the 'twinning-system' by the European Academy of Cancer Sciences. In this, a fundamental and a clinical researcher form a fixed couple that works together. This twinning system is one way to ensure that discoveries can prove their worth as soon as possible in practice for better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. Another point on which the Netherlands Cancer Institute stands out is collaboration on national and international levels. Close and structural collaboration ensures that no knowledge is lost and is therefore indispensable for the Netherlands Cancer Institute to achieve its goal: ensure that cancer is no longer a terminal disease.
The assessment committee was also impressed by the way in which the Netherlands Cancer Institute is leading the way in research: with the development of new imaging techniques, new DNA research methods, research on the immune system and immune therapy, and new ways to investigate tumor tissue outside the patient's body. The Mouse Cancer Clinic, an important link between fundamental and clinical research, also garnered praise.
The Netherlands Cancer Institute as an internationally recognized Comprehensive Cancer Centre makes a significant contribution to solving the cancer problem in the 21st century. To this end, it carries out scientific research at a top international level in a wide area and provides the entire range of care (screening, diagnostics, treatment) to cancer patients. Read more: The Netherlands Cancer Institute again recognized as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre
The European Academy of Cancer Sciences, founded in 2009, is an independent advisory body of leading oncologists and cancer researchers.
Read also: The Netherlands Cancer Institute again recognized as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre