Though cancer can be increasingly well detected and increasingly well treated, it remains one of the main causes of death and a major problem for society. To treat it effectively, an in-depth understanding of the disease is required - and there is still a lot of work to do here. We now know that there are multiple mechanisms at work in the development of cancer, often characterised by great variability.

These complex and mutually interacting mechanisms have genetic, epigenetic, immunological, psychological and environmental origins. The development of increasingly effective therapies therefore requires a variety of complementary approaches. These are fuelled by state-of-the-art fundamental research into molecular mechanisms, including the use of stem cells, as well as by wide-scale clinical and genetic studies involving the extensive bioinformatic processing of personal data.

All these different elements are bundled together within the ULB's "canceropôle", with the very high-level fundamental research conducted in the laboratories of the Faculties of Medicine and Science going hand-in-hand with international level clinical research conducted in the Erasmus teaching hospital and the Jules Bordet Institute, benefiting from a tradition of oncological excellence. All this work relies on the resources and expertise of the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (ULB-VUB).

The ULB's "canceropôle" offers patients not just top-quality hospital care but also, on account of its acknowledged research excellence, access to the most advanced medicines offering the best chances of recovery.

Main research projects (since 2010)

Actions de recherche concertée, ARC

Interuniversity Attraction Pole, IAP

European projects (7th Framework programme, > 500 Keuros)

  • CANCERDIP: The Use of Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) in Cancer for better Clinical Management

Regional projects (> 500 Keuros)

ERC Grants

  • Cédric Blanpain, starting grant 2008 (Stem cells in epithelial cancer initiation and growth), consolidator grant 2013, EXPAND - Defining the cellular dynamics leading to tissue expansion

Main prizes and international recognition (since 1970)

  • Jules Bordet, Nobel Prize in physiology 1919

  • Albert Claude, Nobel Prize in physiology 1974

  • Marc Parmentier, Francqui Prize 1999 (Molecular Biology)

  • Gilbert Vassart, Francqui Prize 1993 (Pathological Biochemistry)