The Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital (NKI-AVL) was established on October 10, 1913; one hundred years ago. The founders wanted to build a cancer institute ‘where patients suffering from malignant growths could adequately be treated and where cancer and related diseases could be studied’. So from the start we have taken a comprehensive approach to cancer.
Nowadays, the Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital accommodates approximately 550 scientists and scientific support personnel, 53 medical specialists, 180 beds, an out-patients clinic with 30,600 visits, six operating theaters, and eleven irradiation units. It is the only dedicated cancer center in the Netherlands, officially accredited as Comprehensive Cancer Center by the OECI, and it maintains an important role as national and international center of scientific and clinical expertise, development and training.
The three major areas of research are fundamental, clinical and translational research. A thorough understanding of the basic processes in cells is the foundation for understanding cancerous cells. The laboratory covers all major areas of cancer research, with special emphasis on cell-based screens, mouse tumor models, cell biology, structural biology and epidemiology. The institute coordinates and participates in many clinical trials; most of these studies of potential new treatments such as combinations of chemostatics, radiotherapy and/or surgery. Results obtained from fundamental research are translated into clinical applications as part of our translation research program.
From the day the NKI-AVL was established, close collaboration between scientists and clinicians was seen as an essential element in fighting cancer. Having a laboratory and hospital under one roof in a single independent organization with an open and collaborative atmosphere has led to many important discoveries and improved therapies.