The Department of Oncology at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH) is one of the largest cancer research centres in Northern Europe. The research activities include clinical trials in radiation oncology and medical oncology, and the clinical activities are well integrated with a large translational research environment. The department has a long tradition for active leadership in a number of national and international collaborative clinical trial groups, e.g. the Danish Head and Neck cancer Study Group (DAHANCA) and the Danish Breast Cancer Group (DBCG). The department has a leading role in research and development of high precision radiotherapy, including image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), adaptive radiotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy and functional imaging, as well as research in biological targeted therapy and immunotherapy of solid tumours.
Currently, the research staff includes 9 professors, 17 associate professors, 9 post docs, 34 PhD students and 6 master students. They have published more than 100 scientific papers in peer reviewed international journals during 2011.
The department is host to CIRRO, the Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Interventional Research in Radiation Oncology, which supports, conducts and coordinates translational and clinical radiotherapy research at all Danish radiation oncology departments. So far, more than 2,300 patients have been included into 27 clinical CIRRO studies.
Research units are strongly integrated in the Department of Oncology. The Department of Medical Physics develops and integrates novel technology into clinical radiotherapy and the Department of Experimental Clinical Oncology (ECO) with development and improvements of cancer therapies through clinical and translational studies. ECO has its own laboratory facilities for cell culturing, small animal and molecular biology studies and it houses the Clinical Trials Unit for multicenter trials. The Psycho-Oncology Research Unit performs research within psychological and social aspects of patients and their relatives, and novel research programs on rehabilitation of cancer patients and on interpersonal relationships between patients, relatives and hospital staff have been launched. The Clinical Research Unit provides the infrastructure for clinical research activities in the department.
Through partnerships in a large number of teams across the hospital, researchers from the department are involved in interdisciplinary research activities including cancer biomarkers, functional imaging, tumour micro-environment, prognostic factors and combined modality therapies. A research programme on particle physics is established in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Physics and Astronomy (IFA) at Aarhus University.
The Department of Oncology is strongly represented in national and international multidisciplinary cancer groups, scientific societies and on the faculties of international teaching courses. Two of the leading scientific journals in oncology have editor-in-chief (Radiotherapy and Oncology) and editors (Acta Oncologica) from the department.