National Center for Translational Cancer Research makes its Debut

28 April 2022 3minutes

Leading experts gather together to kick off the LIH’s latest major initiative in patient –oriented cancer research.

A major meeting of stakeholders and world-leading oncology experts have come together to kick off the initiation phase of the National Center for Translational Cancer Research (NCTCR). Coordinated by the LIH, a consortium of Luxembourgish institutions will seek to provide patients with better access to clinical studies and innovative treatments, keeping the patient at the centre of ongoing research efforts.

As our technologies and understanding of disease and the human body continue to grow, the global healthcare community has never been better equipped to tackle some of the most challenging health issues that we are facing. Beating cancer remains one of the toughest endeavors ever undertaken in biomedical research, and the LIH continues to play its part, driving initiatives focused on patient-centric translational research.

In light of this, July 2021 saw the LIH announce its coordinating role towards a new National Center for Translational Cancer Research (NCTCR), an initiative of the Plan National Cancer-2 (PNC2) from the Ministry of Health, which is seeking to foster research in translational oncology with a direct impact on patients and society. In order to engage public and private stakeholders towards a consolidated consortium, the initiative has received seed funding from the FNR. This initiation phase will enable the development of ideas and building of a full proposal for the future NCTCR.

The NCTCR will aim to stimulate translational cancer research and build bridges between scientific developments and treatment in the hospital. Overall, the benefits should be felt by patients, with an acceleration of precision oncology efforts at the national scale, an improvement in the quality of care and the expansion of access to cutting-edge clinical trials. By its design, the NCTCR will ultimately seek to become a cornerstone for future precision cancer therapeutics in Luxembourg and drive patient-oriented research towards precision oncology.

The kick off meeting of the NCTCR initiation phase took place on the 28th April 2022 at the Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg, bringing together the various stakeholders throughout oncology (researchers, medical doctors, care providers, patient-support groups…), to consolidate the consortium and to collect ideas for the future.

The gathering was introduced by the LIH’s director of the Department of Cancer Research, Simone Niclou, with various subsequent talks given by leading clinicians, scientists and cancer foundations. Multiple sessions were held covering key aspects of the project including precision oncology programs, the role of international expertise and how the Center could address the national priorities of the Grand Duchy in cancer research.

The kick off was an important milestone in the conception phase of the NCTCR, which supports the national strategy to reduce the cancer burden and improve patient care through patient-centric cancer research

Simone Niclou


Welcome: Ulf Nehrbass

Session 1: National Context (Chairperson: Simone Niclou)

  • Introduction: Simone Niclou
  • Plan National Cancer: Vincent Lens
  • Clinical Expectations: Caroline Duhem & Guillaume VOGIN

Session 2: Focused Precision Oncology programs (Chairperson: Barbara Klink)

  • Program on Prevention & Care: Claudine Backes
  • Program on Digital Health and Patient-Reported Outcomes : Guy Fagherazzi
  • Program on Molecular Tumor Profiling: Barbara Klink
  • Program on Complex Patient-Based Models: Simone Niclou

Session 3: International expertise (Chairperson: Guy Berchem)

  • Lecture Series in Cancer Research: “Which keys to success for translational cancer research? The Toulouse experience” : Gilles Favre
  • Program on Innovative Therapies: Markus Ollert
  • Cancer Immunotherapy in Basel and beyond: Heinz Laeubli & Marcel Trefny

Session 4: National Priorities (Chairperson: Michel Mittelbronn)

  • Establishment of a National Cancer Collection: Michel Mittelbronn
  • Objectives of the Institut National du Cancer: Guy Berchem
  • Foundation Kriibskrank Kanner : Anne Goeres
  • FNR Expectations: Sean Sapcariu
  • Wrap up and Conclusions: Simone Niclou

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