Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology in Utrecht celebrates 5-year anniversary
How the Princess Máxima Center began
Rob Pieters, Chief Medical Officer at the Máxima, says: ‘We, the medical directors of the seven pediatric oncology centers (then known as Academic Centers), were all asking ourselves the same question: if your own child had cancer, where would you take them for treatment? Which pediatric oncologist should you see, and in which hospital?’
That sparked the idea of establishing a single institute for childhood cancer in the Netherlands. The best care for every child with cancer and all the research, all in one place, with the goal of curing more patients and improving their quality of life. Of the 600 children with cancer between the ages of 0 and 18, around 125 die each year.
About the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology
The mission of the Princess Máxima Center is to cure every child with cancer, while ensuring optimum quality of life. One in four children diagnosed with cancer do not survive the disease. Many children who undergo treatment and survive suffer permanent damage as a result of their treatment.
That is why, in the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology, they collaborate on pioneering and impassioned work every day to improve both survival rates and the quality of life for children with cancer.
Now, and in the long term. Because children have their whole lives ahead of them. As a result, the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology is no ordinary hospital but a research hospital and the largest pediatric oncology center in Europe. There, over 400 scientists and 900 healthcare professionals cooperate closely with hospitals in the Netherlands and abroad to develop new treatments and new potential cures.
In this way, they provide the best possible care for today's child while also taking vital steps to improve the chances of recovery for children who are still waiting for a cure.
Driven by social impact
In 2012, Selma Huizer, Jeroen Tebbens and Arnoud Troe represented BNG Bank in the initial talks about realizing a new hospital. The financing agreement was signed on 1 October 2014 and on 5 June 2018, the Máxima opened its doors. Selma Huizer recalls: ‘It started from absolutely nothing, really. No hospital, no staff, no medical specialists and so on. The talks were held with three representatives of the Máxima and we had an 85-page business case in our hands. It spelled out what they were asking for: 125 million euros, please, so we can build a new hospital.’
Today, more than ten years later – and more than five years since the hospital was completed – the Máxima has developed into a full-fledged research hospital. Driven by a desire to maximize our social impact, we have contributed – through the funding we provided – to the Máxima’s ability to work together to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.