A 'topping out' ceremony takes place today to mark the highest point in the expansion of the sixth and seventh floors of the research building of the Princess Máxima Center. Before the summer, the go-ahead was given for a new and important construction project: building two additional floors with a total surface area of 3,400 m2 on top of the existing research building. The expansion brings the Máxima one step closer to its mission: to cure every child with cancer, with optimal quality of life.
The Princess Máxima Center is building a new cell therapy facility (CTF) as part of the sixth and seventh floor expansion. The expansion of the research building contributes to innovation in immuno-oncology, among other developments. By building the CTF and the cleanrooms, CAR T-cells can be made on-site. The CTF will also be used to expand research into CAR-T and other innovative cell therapies. Construction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023 and the new research building will be ready for use at the end of 2023, beginning of 2024.
Translation of research into practice
Gita Gallé, member of the Board of Directors at the Princess Máxima Center: 'We are proud of the realization of the expansion of our research building and grateful for the support we have received from a number of generous donors, including KiKa. The expansion is being realized in a constructive collaboration with Unica and Van Wijnen. In one area of the expansion, specialized scientists will develop and produce cell therapies ready to give to children. In this way we realize what is medically necessary for the individual child with cancer. With this new facility we aim to accelerate the translation of research into practice and thus bring new developments to the children more quickly. That's what it's all about, of course.'
More and more children
Since 2019, a form of biological therapy, CAR T-cell therapy, has been standard part of the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in whom other therapies have stopped working. Scientists at the Princess Máxima Center are working to make CAR-T work for more and more children with ALL. They are also conducting research to make CAR-T and similar cell therapies available to children with other forms of cancer.