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About our research using animals

The mission of the Princess Máxima Center is to cure every child with cancer, with optimal quality of life. In light of this mission, animal studies form part of the research into new scientific insights, improving existing therapies and developing brand new forms of treatment.

Our research involves animals only in cases where it is necessary and unavoidable. For example, in order to thoroughly assess the effect and benefit of some medicines, they need to be tested in whole, living organisms. But it is unethical to test new medicines directly in children. The use of animals in this kind of research is unavoidable.

The Princess Máxima Center is of course compliant with all national and international legislation around the use of animals in research. This means that all research proposals involving animal research first have to be approved by the legal organisations tasked with evaluating animal welfare and ethical considerations.

The Princess Máxima Center works to minimize the use of animals in research, and actively works on alternatives. This approach follows the ‘3R’s’: to replace, reduce and refine animal research. A possible future alternative is the use of organoids. This technique makes it possible to expand and grow tumors in the lab. Thanks to the use of organoids, there is much more tissue that can be used for research purposes. For some studies, organoids could in future reduce or replace the use of animals altogether.