Princess Máxima Center to collaborate with pediatric oncology center in Bratislava

The Princess Máxima Center has entered into an official partnership with the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of the National Institute of Children's Diseases (NUDCH) in Bratislava, Slovakia. With this collaboration, both centers are creating an accelerated development towards even better treatment options for children with cancer. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima attended the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the pediatric oncology centers of the Netherlands and Slovakia.

Part of the program during the three-day state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to Slovakia is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Máxima Center and the Department of Pediatric Haematology and Oncology of the National Institute of Children's Diseases (NUDCH) in Bratislava. The official signing event took place at the Circular Business Forum at Bratislava Castle and was followed by a round table conference at NUDCH.

Photo: Patrick van Emst

Exchange and referral

The collaboration between the two pediatric oncology centers focuses on hemato-oncology, brain tumors and solid tumors and offers opportunities for the exchange of professionals for training and collaboration. Children who need complicated treatment or participate in a clinical study that cannot be performed in Bratislava can be referred to the Princess Máxima Center.

(Pre)clinical studies

In terms of research, the collaboration focuses on clinical studies, the development of a biobank and a trial and data center in Bratislava to enable preclinical and clinical studies. The collaboration also focuses on molecular and genetic diagnostics of cancer in children in order to improve diagnostic methods in Slovakia.

Prof. dr. Alexandra Kolenova, Head of Pediatric Oncology NUDCH in Bratislava:

Our Pediatric Oncology Department strives to provide the best and innovative care for our children in Slovakia. And for this, international cooperation such as with the Princess Máxima Center is important and even crucial to improve our care and research.

Prof. dr. Rob Pieters, medical director and co-founder of the Princess Máxima Center:

The collaboration between the pediatric oncology center in Bratislava and our center in Utrecht is a fantastic opportunity. On the one hand to share our knowledge and experience with pediatric oncology professionals outside the Netherlands and on the other hand to accelerate research into new treatment methods for children with cancer by doing this together. I am delighted that we can also make a difference for patients outside the Netherlands from the Máxima.

Childhood cancer in Europe

The collaboration with the children's hospital in Bratislava aims to ensure that children with cancer throughout Europe can benefit from modern therapies and diagnostics. Through collaboration in Europe, even more patients can take part in clinical trials to increase the chances of a cure. Childhood cancer is relatively rare, but still causes more than 6,000 deaths per year in Europe. Every year, 600 children in the Netherlands are diagnosed with cancer. Across Europe, this concerns 35,000 children and teenagers per year. About a quarter of them cannot be cured with currently available standard therapies. This makes cancer the most common cause of death in children and teenagers in Europe.

Source: Princes Máxima Center