Patient Engagement Programme

Oncode’s mission is to outsmart cancer and impact patients’ lives. We believe that community, joint effort and learning from each other are vital to fulfilling this mission, and connecting patients and researchers follows this belief.

Patients and researchers rarely meet but are inherently linked. Both patients and researchers have their lives deeply determined by cancer, in different ways. Closing the ranks and having researchers and patients come together is therefore a chance to access first-hand knowledge, and by that, to improve research through novel ideas, perspectives and discussions. The goal of the Patient Engagement programme is therefore to bring researchers and patients together, foster this meaningful connection, and have patients’ experiences and needs inspire research, while at the same time have their questions on science answered and their voices heard.

Oncode’s Approach

While basic research is naturally bound to the lab, and by that removed from a patient’s life, we believe this can be different and that the knowledge and insight coming out of living and fighting cancer matter, can trigger a researcher’s creativity, spark new ideas and also broaden one’s perspective on life. This is why the Patient Engagement Program provides well-defined support structures enabling researchers and [ex-]patients to connect and interact with Oncode labs and/or individual Oncode researchers. And from our experience, we learned that connecting a researcher to a patient can be meaningful, at times proving to facilitate access to a network of people fighting the disease, which can provide a wide range of experiences and input.

Because we truly believe patients’ insights matter, besides introducing patients to our research labs, we ensure that the patient perspective is adequately represented in our Advisory and Supervisory Boards, to help incorporate the patients’ perspective in our work. This representation means patient representatives help review the proposals that are relevant to patients, like the proposals for the Clinical Proof-of-Concept Fund.

For more on patient involvement, its depth and value for both researchers and patients, you can read this interview with Erica van Wuijtswinkel and Jacco van Rheenen. You can also watch our World Cancer Day 2020 interview with Erica van Wuijtswinkel here.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please contact:

Colette ten Hove Programme Manager

Related news and events

20191104 Get the patient into the lab Card Image
Get the patient into the lab!
Oncode started the Patient Perspective Program. The goal of this program is to connect (ex-)patients to Oncode labs and/or individual Oncode researchers. This should decrease the distance between Oncode researchers and patients so they can explore, investigate and understand each other's worlds. Research groups from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the LUMC are taking part in the first pilot of the Patient Perspective Program.


Elize is part of Oncode’s communication team. She has over 10 years of experience in the com-munication industry, both for commercial and non-profit organisations. After obtaining her bache-lor and master degree in communication at Utrecht University, Elize worked as a communication professional at a research institute, PR agency, law firm and internet company. She has a strong focus on external communications and Public Relations. At Oncode - together with her colleagues - Elize produces the monthly newsletters for Oncode Investigators & Researchers and the Oncode digital magazine. She publishes content for the Oncode website and is responsible for all social media channels. She enjoys discussing science with researchers and support them in their outreach.