European award for excellence

Cambridge receives European stamp of approval for its world-class cancer research and excellent patient care services.

The Cambridge Cancer Centre has been accredited as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) in recognition of its world-class research, excellent clinical services for patients, and commitment to train the next generation of cancer scientists. 

It is the first Centre in Europe based in a general hospital – Addenbrooke’s – rather than a specialist cancer hospital to receive the prestigious award.

During a special event today at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute the accreditation certificate was formally presented by Prof Wim van Harten, President of the OECI. He said, ‘It is especially challenging for large university medical centres to provide research-driven specialist services within the context of a general hospital. In view of this, the OECI Accreditation and Designation team was very positive in its assessment of the achievements of the Cambridge Cancer Centre.’

Prof Patrick Maxwell, Chair of the Centre and Head of the University of Cambridge Clinical School, and Prof Sir Bruce Ponder, Director of the Centre, received the certificate at the event, which showcased some of the research programmes in Cambridge that are changing the face of cancer treatment globally. 

Some of the cutting-edge work undertaken by Cambridge Cancer Centre clinician scientists includes a landmark study mapping out the different types of breast cancer, an ‘early warning’ test for oesophageal cancer, and DNA sequencing of sub groups of prostate cancer to target treatment to the individual and therefore improve survival rates.

Prof Ponder said,  ‘To be awarded this status is recognition of the hard work and collaboration between the University, CRUK and Addenbrooke’s over the last six years since the Centre was established. We are bringing Cambridge science to bear on the practical problems of cancer. Closer interaction between the clinic and the lab will be the foundation for our future progress and for better outcomes for patients.’


Speaking at the event attended by around 200 Cambridge-based researchers and clinicians, Harpal  Kumar, CEO of Cancer Research UK, said, ‘The Cambridge Cancer Centre’s accreditation by the OECI as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre recognises Cambridge’s outstanding track record in cancer research. The city is hugely important to the work of Cancer Research UK, receiving our largest investment in a single location outside of London. This supports a range of exceptional basic, translational, clinical and population research. It is an exciting time for CRUK and the Cambridge Cancer Centre and there is great potential for us to continue to work closely together to make a significant impact on cancer outcomes.’

Keith McNeil, Chief Executive Officer, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said, ‘It is fantastic news that we have been recognised as one of the best cancer centres in the world. Addenbrooke’s already provides excellent outcomes for cancer patients compared to other hospitals in the UK and cancer will be one of the top priorities for us in the future. I am eagerly looking forward to forging even closer collaborations with the University and Cancer Research UK in the pursuit of cancer research which transforms the lives and futures for patients.’

Cambridge now joins other world-leading cancer centres in Manchester, Stockholm, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

The OECI represents and advocates the interests of 73 institutions from almost all European countries. The OECI’s objective is to promote comprehensive cancer care and to optimise services in Cancer Centres in Europe, to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, and to support cancer patients.

20 Sep 2013