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Scientific research

At the Princess Máxima Center, we do a lot of research to continuously improve the treatment of children with cancer and their quality of life. Therefore, you will regularly be asked if you would like your child to participate in a research study.
Why is research important?

Thanks to past scientific research, today more and more children can be cured and also have a better quality of life. So research is important to move forward. It gives us more knowledge about the different types of pediatric cancer and how the disease and treatment affect the lives of children and families. And it helps us reach our goal: to cure all children with cancer with optimal quality of life.

Different types of research

Most children are treated according to a protocol created by national and international experts. Almost every protocol includes, in addition to guidelines for treatment, a research section. But we do even more scientific research at Máxima Center. For example, we investigate:

  • Whether one medicine works better than another
  • Which combination of treatments is best?
  • How is the quality of life of the child and family during treatment?
  • The quality of life of children after a particular treatment.
  • How is our quality of care?

Review of research

Each study is first submitted to the Máxima science committee. If this committee approves the research, it goes to a medical ethics review committee (METC). Only after approval by the METC can the research begin.

Participation in scientific research

We may only conduct scientific research with your and/or your child's consent. Participation in a research study is always voluntary. You will first receive an explanation of the study and can ask questions. You will also be given the information in writing, so you can read it quietly in your own time. You will be given enough time to decide whether to participate.

Study results

Once a study is completed and all the data have been processed, the results are published in a scientific journal. The Máxima Center and the Dutch National Childhood Cancer Association regularly share summaries of research results via newsletters and social media. Here you can find information about clinical trials.


The Biobank stores medical data and bodily material, such as blood. This is only done with your permission. When you arrive at the Máxima Center, you are given a 'Over the threshold' form which asks for this permission. Thanks to this material and data, we can do research to further improve treatments.

More information

Read more in the brochures Scientific Research and Scientific Research on Treatments and Medications. Please note these brochures are currently only available in Dutch.