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Prinses Máxima Centrum

Partnership Princess Máxima Center & Western Ukrainian Specialized Children’s Medical Centre in Lviv, Ukraine

The First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska attended the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the pediatric oncology centers of the Netherlands and Ukraine. The Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and the Western Ukrainian Specialized Children’s Medical Centre in Lviv, Ukraine, have agreed upon an official partnership. With this collaboration, both centers are creating an accelerated development towards even better treatment options for children with cancer.

First Lady Olena Zelenska visited the Princess Máxima Center in Utrecht this weekend. The First Lady wanted to express her gratitude to the Netherlands and the Princess Máxima Center for the treatment and the hosting of Ukranian children with cancer. This visit is part of the initiative of the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen, initiated by the First Lady of Ukraine since 2021. This year's Summit will be held on September 6 in Kyiv and its main theme will be ‘Mental health: resilience and fragility of the future’.


Mrs. Olena Zelenska visited some Ukrainian children with cancer and their families in Utrecht. The First Lady of Ukraine was warmly greeted by the Ukrainian children admitted to the center. She expressed her gratitude to the staff of the Princess Máxima Center for taking care of the Ukrainian children with cancer and was delighted to see the building. The Máxima Center has offered help to provide care and treatment to these children with cancer, right after the beginning of the war. Treatment of children with cancer must always be continued, only one thing matters: a cure. In total, 95 Ukrainian children were or still are being treated at the Princess Máxima Center. She attended the undersigning of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the directors of both hospitals in Utrecht and Lviv.

The delegation was further completed by: Sharon Dijksma, mayor of Utrecht, Barbara Goezinne, Dutch Ministry of Health, Edwin Paalvast, Chief of International Markets Royal Philips and Mildred Klarenbeek, Dutch National Childhood Cancer Association (VKKN).


The collaboration between the two pediatric oncology centers offers opportunities for the exchange of professionals for training and collaboration. Children who need special oncology treatments and/or participate in a clinical study that cannot be performed in Lviv can be referred to the pediatric oncology center in the Netherlands. The official signing of the MoU by Gita Gallé MSc, board of directors of the Princess Máxima Center, and Roman Kizyma MD MSc, Head of Clinic of Pediatric Oncology and SCT and director of Western Ukrainian Specialized Children's Medical Centre took place by video connection.

Gita Gallé, board of directors, Princess Máxima Center: ‘In our appreciated partnerships we strive to provide the best and innovative care for children who have cancer. And for this, international cooperation is crucial to improve care and research. This collaboration is an important opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with pediatric oncology professionals in Ukraine and on the other hand to accelerate research into new treatment methods for children with cancer by doing this together.’

Roman Kizyma MD MSc, director, Western Ukrainian Specialized Children's Medical Centre, Lviv: ‘The Princess Máxima Center has shown tremendous effort and dedication to help Ukrainian children with cancer since the start of the Russian invasion. More than 90 severely ill children were evacuated to Utrecht to receive the best possible cancer care. With signing this MoU our center in Lviv and our patients will have a strong partner to continue our collaboration in patient care, research and education between pediatric oncologists of Ukraine and Netherlands.’