Fundamental research looks at the ways healthy cells and cancer cells operate. This knowledge is essential for a greater understanding of cancer, and for the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments.
Scientific research has provided us with a wealth of new insights into cancer and its treatment. In order to further develop our fight against cancer, we will have to find answers to several fundamental questions. What causes cancer? Why does tumor development differ between patients? Why do certain tumors resist treatment, and how can we prevent this from happening? Fundamental research can help us answer such important questions. This type of research focuses on the fundamentals of biology and basic mechanisms in cells. Fundamental research into cancer and the immune system has previously led to the development of immunotherapy. This kind of research is also vital in the development of new research techniques: a greater understanding of cells and genes has led to the use of DNA sequencing in our diagnostics and clinical trials. The Netherlands Cancer Institute invests in fundamental research because we believe that this research is vital for the development of new diagnostic and treatment options.