Oncological Life Study (OncoLifeS) Oncological data-biobank contributing to Healthy Ageing Facility
Understanding cancer heterogeneity, its temporal evolution over time, and the outcomes of guided treatment depend on accurate data collection in a context of routine clinical care. That is why we have developed a hospital based data-biobank for oncology: OncoLifeS.

We link comprehensive and high-quality routine clinical data, biological samples, quality of life, and the patient's perspective.

Main aims:

  • to provide an infrastructure for clinical cancer research
  • to facilitate translational research toward more personalized patient care
  • to monitor and improve quality of care

We prospectively include adult patients (age >18 years) diagnosed with cancer or with a genetically increased risk of cancer. Patients are included only after written informed consent. (Read our design paper). 


Working together on cancer care

Care for cancer patients is one of the spearheads of the University Medical Center Groningen. Research into the development of cancer and the discovery of new successful treatment methods to cure patients and to keep the quality of life as high as possible fits in with this.

For more information see UMC Groningen Comprehensive Cancer Center (in Dutch)

  • All patients with a newly diagnosed cancer are invited to participate in OncoLifeS.

    After informed consent, a whole set of data are registered. This includes tumor and patient characteristics, and quality of life. Like functional, cognitive, psychological status, nutritional status, social support and physical presentation. In addition, cancer biopsies and blood are collected.

    Found out more: patient information (in Dutch)

  • With our data-biobank we have the opportunity to find molecular-biological and environmental factors that influence the onset and development of cancer. To predict the effectiveness of the treatment and the possible unwanted side effects.


Interested external researchers can submit a research proposal to the coordinator of the OncoLifeS data-biobank. The proposal can be submitted using a template we can provide upon request.


  • The aim of the research proposal should fit within the objectives of OncoLifeS
  • Collaboration with the relevant tumor working board is indicated

Background information

  • The OncoLifeS data-biobank is embedded in a large academic hospital, which ensures structured data storage and management, with continued adherence to high legal and ethical standards.

    Historical databases (retrospective inclusions) can be embedded in the structure of the OncoLifeS data-biobank, also with adherence to high legal and ethical standards.

    Other studies falling under the scope of the “Dutch Medical Research Involving Human Subject Act (WMO 1998)” can adopt the methods of the OncoLifeS initiative for data collection, data storage, and biomaterial collection and processing, provided they have appropriate governance procedures and ethical approvals in place.

  • We included a population of consecutive people diagnosed either with cancer or with a genetically increased risk of cancer. Overall, about 70% of approached patients have agreed to participate. At this moment over 5.500 patients with a diagnosis of cancer are prospectively included in our data-biobank. Over 10.000 patients are included retrospectively.

    More information for patients in Dutch.

  • Clinical data collected from the electronic medical records

    • General patient information (e.g., Gender, Date of birth)
    • Clinical history (e.g., comorbidity)
    • Comorbidity (Adult Comorbidity Evaluation 27 score - ACE-27)
    • Clinical and pathological diagnosis (e.g., tumor type, radiological images)
    • Surgical treatment (Type and date of surgery)
    • Radiotherapy (e.g., Type and start date)
    • Systemic therapy (e.g., Type and start date)


    • Family history
    • Lifestyle (e.g., smoking)
    • Social conditions (e.g., marital status)
    • Quality of life (e.g., EORTC QLQ-30)
    • Daily living activities (IADL-Q)
    • Frailty (e.g., G8 questionnaire)
    • Mental state (e.g., GDS-15, MMSE)


    • Serum
    • EDTA-plasma + buffy coat (DNA)
    • Heparin-plasma
    • Plasma (for cell-free DNA)
    • Whole blood (for DNA or RNA)
    • Bone marrow
    • Feces swab in glycerol b
    • Feces
    • Urine
    • Tumor tissue (for paraffin embedding)
    • Tissue adjacent to a tumor (for frozen section)
    • Tissue adjacent to a tumor (for paraffin embedding)
    • Healthy tissue (for frozen section)
  • Motivated, smart researchers are needed for research at OncoLifeS. As a researcher you mainly focus on the further development of the line of research (find research lines above), for example by collecting research data from patients. Entering and analyzing big data.

    You will learn a lot about oncology patients, as well as conducting and organizing scientific research. Positions are available for bachelor and master students with a (bio) medical background such as medicine.

    Working hours in consultation, compensation depending on internship conditions and collective labor agreement.


Janny Nagel Cohort coordinator

Data-biobank OncoLifeS

Hanzeplein 1
Postbus 30.000
9700 RB Groningen
Huispostcode FA 40