The Strategic Program Cancer is UMC Utrecht’s world-leading platform for cancer research and innovation. We focus on improving the outcome of ​(ex-)cancer patients, and those at risk of getting cancer.

Our focus

Our research is cross-disciplinary. It includes fundamental, translational, clinical and real-world data science. And our researchers work closely together with UMC Utrecht’s other strategic programs, clinicians, patients and regional and (inter)national partners. Result: breakthrough innovations in personalized cancer treatment, early diagnosis, prevention, and supportive care. We focus on six research areas:

Relevant news

Portrait picture of Ronald de Krijger

‘Working in healthcare is a team sport’

5 July 2024 Read more

Bacterial metabolites involved in risk of IBD and colorectal cancer

1 July 2024

AI helps pathologists at UMC Utrecht detect metastases in breast cancer faster and cheaper

27 June 2024

Kidney tumors in children: specific diagnosis with MRI

28 May 2024

Assumption about cause DNA damage debunked

29 April 2024
Carlo Vermeulen is doing work in the Nanopore Omics lab>

Research Groups

Our Strategic Program hosts over 800 researchers dedicated to finding ways to cure, prevent and live with cancer. They work together within research groups to accelerate the results of their projects.

Discover our research groups

Partners & Networks




  • The Utrecht region is innovative and well-known for harboring many hospitals and public and private research institutions within close proximity.
  • Utrecht Cancer. Partners on Utrecht Science Park have combined their expertise in a comprehensive cancer platform.​
  • Oncomid: 13 multidisciplinary tumor working groups have been installed to optimize patient care within the regional network​.
  • Utrecht Heart of Health: the region where we collaborate towards a healthier, more sustainable future.​


We cherish our associate professors. At UMC Utrecht, we give them the opportunity to hold their own ‘inaugural lecture’: the UHD lecture. This allows them to present their research work and vision in a comprehensive video, available to all audiences.

View our lectures


PhD programs​

We are involved in 5 PhD programs at the Graduate School of Life Sciences:​


Interested in becoming an intern with us? Take a look at internship opportunities at KonJoin!


OncoCareer Board​

Early or mid-career scientist at PhD, postdoc or assistant professor level?  ​

The OncoCareer Board consists of enthusiastic young researchers from different departments within the UMC Utrecht and provides a supportive network for early-career scientists​.

Career opportunities

Interested in joining our world-leading cancer research? ​Take a look at the research vacancies at UMC Utrecht.

Public engagement

Meet the researchers

We are dedicated to educating the general public about cancer research. Therefore, we participate and organise several outreach activities, such as: ​

Patient involvement

We value the opinion and vision of our patients. Our daily board regularly discusses our research with the patient sounding board and various patient advocacy groups. We are very thankful for their involvement and expertise to further sharpen our mission.​

Upcoming events

Networking Outreach event Symposium

Betweter Festival 2024


27-09-2024 from 18:30 to 01:00

People behind the program

  • Elsken van der Wall, chair​
  • Gerlof Valk, vice-chair​
  • Susanne Lens, daily board member​
  • Jürgen Kuball, daily board member​
  • Sjoerd Elias, daily board member​
  • Nico van den Berg, daily board member​
  • Jeroen Hagendoorn, daily board member​
  • Carmen van Dooijeweert, manager​
  • Erna Erdtsieck-Ernste, manager​
  • Natascha Mijnhart, communication​
  • Claudia Nicolaije, EU grant support​
  • Sanne Hindrikse, NL grant support​
  • Carla Pieterman, U-Trial​
  • Elsbeth den Boer, controller​
  • Alice Tondeur, management support​