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CRCG - Cancer Research Center Groningen

UMCG Cancer Research Center aims to help patients to become healthier and live longer by improving detection, treatment, and care. Institute
UMCG Cancer Research Center aims to help patients to become healthier and live longer by improving detection, treatment, and care.
Cancer survival rates in the Netherlands are among the highest in the world thanks to top clinical research and care. The UMCG Cancer Research Center intends to unravel disease mechanisms and improve early detection and treatment of cancer, to cure more patients, and to minimize damage, so that survivors can live healthier lives.

We perform high-quality, oncology-related research to improve detection, treatment, and care for our cancer patients. Our activities include:

  • Studying the molecular, cellular, and genetic defects of malignant cells;
  • Developing and applying new diagnostic techniques and treatment options;
  • Studying unintended short- and long-term side-effects of treatments on normal tissues to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.

Our research activities benefit our patients

The effectiveness of cancer treatments may vary between patients and diagnostics are mainly based on morphological features. This can be changed thanks to our research on advanced imaging techniques, genetics, and cellular and molecular therapies, as well as the use of health data.

Our research is aimed at the discovery of new diagnostic tools and the personalization of treatment for specific cancer types. Our activities include: 

  • Using new diagnostic tools to develop patient-specific profiles and to personalize cancer care step by step;
  • Using state-of-the-art treatment facilities to minimize unintended side-effects;
  • Sharing findings to improve global cancer care.
  • Proton therapy is an innovative form of radiation therapy that targets malignant tumours with great precision, causing less damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The CRCG conducts research on this technique, which has been used to treat patients at the UMCG since 2018. The aim is to reduce unintended side-effects in normal tissue and improve patients’ quality of life by using this technique and evaluating the results.

    The CRCG participates in an extensive international collaboration to further develop and automate treatment methods. In this project, the CRCG and other European partners intend to set up a training network for a new generation of proton therapy researchers.

  • A lot can be learned from our patients. That is why they are asked to participate in OncoLifeS, a UMCG biobank for the storage of data, bodily materials, and cancer patients’ quality-of-life assessments, which are subsequently used for UMCG cancer research. From January 2016 (the start of OncoLifeS) to October 2020, already more than 5,200 patients in total have consented to participate in OncoLifeS.

    The combining of routine clinical data with preserved biological specimens and quality-of-life assessments enables the OncoLifeS researchers to develop better anticancer treatments, which results in an improved quality of life after cancer.

    See also:

  • The CRCG research results are used to improve diagnostics and treatment as quickly as possible. To prevent harmful treatment effects, research is also performed in cancer survivors. By doing so, the cancer center is able to provide specialist care.

    The CRCG closely collaborates with national and European, American, and Canadian university hospitals.

  • The CRCG improves patient selection and uncovers drug mechanisms of action.

  • New cellular therapies, such as CAR-T cells, CAR-NK cells, and CAR-macrophages, are in an advanced stage of development. Furthermore, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has become one of the cornerstones of leukaemia treatment.

    In addition to cellular therapies, the CRCG also focuses on targeted molecular therapy. Several small molecule inhibitors have emerged or are currently being developed. These compounds directly target mutations, downstream signalling networks, and cellular processes such as apoptosis, DNA repair, and epigenetic and metabolic changes in cancer cells.


University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Institute CRCG
P.O. Box 196
9700 AD Groningen
The Netherlands