Bruxelles Woluwe

Oncology is the medical specialty focusing on the study, the diagnosis and the treatment of cancers. The term "cancer" encompasses a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled multiplication and spread of abnormal cells. Cancer may be due to external factors (lifestyle, environmental or occupational factors, infections), or internal factors (hereditary mutations, hormones, immune system disorders, etc.). These risk factors may act together or sequentially, and trigger or promote the development of cancer.

The ultimate target of oncologists and oncology researchers is the tumor cell
(here a breast cancer cell, observed with an electronic microscope).


At IREC, the Oncology thematic brings together laboratories with basic and clinical research activities (more details under the "Research and Development" tab). Regular interactions between the managers of these laboratories ensure the maintenance of a common dynamic. The aims are on one hand to take advantage of the experiment acquired on the bedside so the most relevant questions can be addressed to the basic research and on the other hand to escalate to the more promising experimental discoveries to the clinical research. The so-called translational (or transfer) research targets the development, validation or optimization of new cancer treatments and biomarkers.