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About the NKI

The Netherlands Cancer Institute was established on October 10, 1913. The founders, Rotgans, professor of Surgery, De Bussy, publisher, and De Vries, professor of Pathology, wanted to create a cancer institute 'where patients suffering from malignant growths could be treated adequately and where cancer and related diseases could be studied'. They bought a house on one of the canals in Amsterdam and named it the 'Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis', after the famous Dutch microscopist. The clinic had room for 17 patients, while the laboratory could accommodate 8 to 10 scientists.

Nowadays, The Netherlands Cancer Institute accommodates approximately 650 scientists and scientific support personnel. The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital has 185 medical specialists, 180 beds, an out-patients clinic with around 106,000 visits, 12 operating theaters and 11 irradiotion units for radiotherapy. It is the only dedicated cancer center in The Netherlands and maintains an important role as a national and international center of scientific and clinical expertise, development and training.


  • 29May 2020

    PhD Jane Sun

    Over the last five years Jane mainly investigated how cancer cells are vulnerable because they need a lot of nutrients, and how we can use this vulnerability against them. On June 3rd she will defend her thesis - online because of covid-19.

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  • 25May 2020

    Cancer research meets corona

    Cancer researcher Pia Kvistborg and her team are exploiting their research method in a creative way at the moment: they're searching for the exact part of the coronavirus our immune cells can recognize to start fighting it. An exciting quest with hopefully equally exciting results. In this series we closely follow Pia and her colleagues

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  • 22May 2020

    Thesis defense Colinda Scheele: stem cell behavior in mammary glands

    On May 7, Netherlands Cancer Institute researcher Colinda Scheele received her PhD degree cum laude. She could easily be considered a behavioral biologist, although instead of bonobos or zebra finches, she observed the behavior of generations of stem cells in healthy mammary tissue and mammary tumors in mice - live, in 3D, through a special microscope. One of the things she discovered was that only a small population of tumor cells in the mammary tumor - the cancer stem cells - drives a tumor to be invasive and life-threatening.

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  • 18May 2020

    New group leader Daniela Thommen exploits tumor avatars

    Exploiting her unique tumor fragment platform, she aims to personalize immunotherapy. And she does so in her own way, treating miniature tumors in the lab. "We are trying to make the most out of the patient material we get."

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Board of Directors

Overview boards and commissions


Internal procedures

The NKI has adopted several regulations and procedures which help us organize our research along national and international standards. The most important regulations and procedures can be found here.

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Technology Transfer Office

The NKI has a mission to beat cancer and performs world-beating research to increase our understanding of this disease. The knowledge that is gained in this way sometimes opens avenues for development of e.g. novel treatments or new diagnostic tests. To achieve its mission, NKI actively collaborates with private companies that have the knowledge and the means to develop products based on research results obtained at our institution.

Go to the site of the Technology Transfer Office

Scientific Annual Reports (SAR)



Group Leaders51
PhD Students187


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Key Figures Research

Publications in 2016 805
Total impact of publications in 2014 3935
Avarage impact of publications 2014 6.8

Key Figures Research

Number of divisions 15
Number of Reseach groups 51
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