2_4_DiscoverBenelux_Issue16_April2015_ALL_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 20/03/2015 20:35 Page 21
Discover Benelux | Special Theme | I am Dutch, Female & Successful
parents) and the professionals working in the field of pediatric oncology to bring together all top expertise in cure and research into one national pediatric oncology centre. The goal is to increase the survival rates from 75 to over 90 per cent by 2025. Also the number of short- and long-term side effects of the treatment should reduce to less than 50 per cent. The Princess Máxima Center will be the largest childhood cancer centre in Europe.
Care concept An innovative care concept will be developed for the Princess Máxima Center of Pediatric Oncology: per type of cancer all expertise will be concentrated in one department and clinical, ambulatory and outpatient treatments of children will all take place in one unit. Care will not be organised around the doctor but, in an efficient manner, around the patient. Special children-parent rooms, where a parent can stay in a room neighbouring the child’s room, are an important part of this care concept. Also, facilities will be developed, adjusted to the experience context of children at different ages, to support them in developing themselves in a normal way despite their severe illness and the intensive treatments.
Research and education The Princess Máxima Center has the ambition to become one of the top-5 pedi-
atric oncology research institutes worldwide. The combination of cure and research in one centre will enable the scientists to develop knowledge on the ‘biology’ of each type of childhood cancer and to develop new treatment methods much faster. This should lead to a more rapid increase in survival rates and decrease of side effects during and after treatment. It is the chain of fundamental research, patient-related research and care that will make it possible in the future to develop personalised medicine (specific treatment for each individual child with cancer) based on tumour-biology and DNA techniques. The Princess Máxima Center will offer internationally recognised education programmes in pediatric oncology specialisms. An excellent training programme intends to recruit high potentials in both care and research.
From plan to realisation The plans are well advanced and the first steps are a fact. A consortium of banks in the Netherlands have agreed to finance a large part of the construction costs. Insurance companies have signed contracts necessary to cover the costs of the treatments. The Childhood Cancer Foundation has made significant amounts of money available to realise the research institute and facilitate research programmes. The plans of the new building are ready and after the summer of 2015 the construction of
the new centre in Utrecht will start. Meanwhile, the Princess Máxima Center has started on a small scale within the walls of the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital in Utrecht. Several wards are hired temporarily and here the first children from all over the country with specific tumours are now being treated. The first research programmes will start up this year. From 2017, all children with cancer in the Netherlands will be treated in the then opened new national centre for pediatric oncology. www.prinsesmaximacentrum.nl
Issue 16 | April 2015 | 21
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