Strategic Program Cancer

Cancer research at UMC Utrecht

The Strategic Program Cancer aims to continuously improve the outcome of patients with cancer.
Not only by prolonging their lifespan, but also by improving the quality of life in the years that they gain. To be able to continuously improve, one needs innovative research. Research performed by talented researchers, where talent is stimulated to develop and a continue influx of new talent is fostered. Innovative research by talented researchers gets the best results through collaboration. Collaboration between basic, translational and clinical researchers that extends to  professionals of the primary care,  to patients, our partners on campus, pharma and tech companies and to other regional, national and international partners. 


Highlights 2019

Given the circumstances due to the coronavirus, we all probably have other priorities than reading about cancer research activities.
Nevertheless, in 2019 there is done a lot of work to change the outcome for cancer patients in years to come and that is what we like to share with you.

In this document, the Strategic Cancer Program shows you some of the highlights of the UMC Utrecht 2019 cancer research. It is inspiring to see that so many researchers, with their (national and international) research partners, PhD students and stakeholders are working that hard to achieve all these wonderful results.

Based on this, we are very much looking forward to further stimulating, connecting and facilitating this excellent cancer research in the coming years, creating an environment in which we work together and share our science with the world. Science that support our mission: working to improve the outcome of cancer patients.
So after this heartbreaking interruption of our daily private and work lifes by the coronavirus, we will continue doing that.


Innovation & Talent Management

Basic condition

Structural collaboration

  • between researchers and   clinicians
  • with patients
  • with regional partners

Fundamental research

Unravel the biology of cancer

  • DNA & genetics
  • cell biology
  • immunological landscap 

Translational research

Translate knowledge into

  • biomarkers
  • therapeutic leads (incl. genes, cells)
  • imaging 

Clinical research

Evaluate diagnostics, prognostics & treatments 

  • molecular guided
  • image guided
  • minimal invasive

Prevention & survivorship

Stimulate healthy living

  • causes & prevention
  • (early) diagnosis
  • survivorship care


The daily board of the Strategic Program  Cancer consists of representatives of the themes and disciplines concerning cancer.

They are responsible for:

  • design & execution of our strategic program
  • yearly framework
  • management contracts
  • collaboration agreements   
  • (external) communication & program administration
  • steering and active contribution of portfolio execution
  • active contribution to strategic program evaluations

OncoCareer Board

The OncoCareer Board has three major goals:

  1. Create a nurturing environment for both local and international early-career scientists within the UMC Utrecht
  2. Promote career and personal development opportunities within and outside the UMC Utrecht
  3. Facilitate early-career scientists to connect with peers by creating a coherent community

Cancer research centers

Center for Image Sciences (CIS)

The Center for Image Sciences is a world-leading research center for translational medical imaging. We focus on high precision imaging for improved diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic interventions.

Center for Moleculair Medicine (CMM)

CMM focuses on understanding the molecular basis of disease. The center has expertise in genomics, cell culture, microscopy and bioinformatics.

Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht (RMCU)
The field of regenerative medicine and stem cells requires interdisciplinary collaboration across multiple groups and institutes. The RMCU brings together fundamental, translational and clinical scientists to stimulate creativity and innovation and translate results into therapies and personalized care.

Julius CenterThe UMC Utrecht Julius Center is internationally renowned for its excellent applied clinical research and innovations in the methodology of clinical research.

Lab Translational Oncology (LTO) 

Translational cancer research at the UMCU is concentrated in the Lab Translational Oncology (LTO), the Lab Translational Cancer Imaging (LTC) and the Lab Translational Immunology (LTI).
Insights from fundamental research are used to develop and test new strategies for diagnosis and treatment. A common goal is to generate biological proof-of-concept of the effectiveness of such new strategies in pre-clinical model systems and cancer patients.

The LTO hosts the Utrecht Platform for Organoid Technology which aims to stimulate the application of organoid technology in translational cancer research.