The National Cancer Institute (“NCI”) is a specialized hospital facility focused on providing comprehensive medical oncological care in the scope of specialized outpatient health care, specialized institutional health care, common examination and treatment units and intensive health care in the relevant medical fields.
- We provide comprehensive oncological care at the highest professional level and we perform consiliary services in oncology for oncology centres in the territory of the Slovak Republic; we also provide preventive care.
- We methodically manage, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the professional level of the provision of oncological care in the whole territory of the Slovak Republic and for this purpose the NCI acts as a coordinating center of oncological care in the Slovak Republic.
- Within complex diagnostic and treatment procedures we provide professional services to other oncology centers in the Slovak Republic, as well as to other specialist clinics and departments that take care of oncology patients.
- We gather and process information and statistical data for the needs of managing, organizational and methodological activities of the society in the capacity of the main coordinator of oncological care in the Slovak Republic.
- We participate in scientific research, education of researchers, clinical trials and cooperation in this field with other medical, academic and scientific institutions in Slovakia and abroad.
In Bratislava, cancer patients' care is connected with the Monastery of St. Elizabeth - a church and a hospital on Špitálska street. This complex was built according to the designs of the Viennese architect F. A. Pilgram. Until the 20th century, older women with chronic diseases, often cancer, were admitted here. After the World War I, men were also treated here. The hospital operated as a branch of the State Hospital in Bratislava (now the Old Town Hospital on Mickiewiczova Street).
During 1939 - 1942, the Radiotherapeutic Institute was temporarily located there, with a status of a clinic, in which the founder of Slovak Radiology, Prof. Ľ. Valach, M.D. operated until his death. The Institute was then moved to the adapted premises of the State Hospital and the Hospital of St. Elizabeth served as a treatment facility for chronic and cancer patients.
In February 1945, the Hospital of St. Elizabeth together with the church were damaged during an air raid. During the repair, construction modifications necessary for the hospital were carried out. In the same year, it was V. Thurzo, M.D., the then minister of health care, who supported the establishment of the Institute for Tumor Research and Treatment on the premises of this hospital.
At the same time, he held the position of the Chief of Laboratory Examination Department of the State Hospital, and on the 21 November of 1949, he was commissioned to carry out work related to the establishment of the Institute for Tumor Research and Treatment. At that time, the hospital had 90 beds and 3 departments: radiological, gynecological and surgical. The laboratory consisted of two rooms and it also served the Association Against Cancer as a biopsy station. The Association Against Cancer helped patients, for example, by financing travel expenses to attend examinations at the Institute and supported patients in covering the treatment costs.
In 1950 after the arrival of Prof. F. Švec, M.D. and later A. Winkler, M.D., Š. Hupka, M.D. and L. Bahna, M.D. the laboratory and clinical oncological research began to develop at the Institute. In the same year, the entire monastery building was transferred to the state administration, thus increasing the space for the Institute.
In 1954, the Institute was renamed to "Oncological Research Institute" based in Bratislava. The following year, the GUT 400 cobalt bomb was installed in the Institute as the first in the then Czechoslovakia for static teletherapy of soviet manufacturing.
Until 1956, the Research Institute was a departmental institute of the Ministry of Health, then for several years it belonged to the Health Commission and from 1 July 1960 again under the Ministry of Health.
In 1954, the first issue of the international scientific journal Czechoslovak Oncology was published, which has been published since 1957 under the title Neoplasma by the Institute of Experimental Oncology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
Since 1958, thanks to doc. A. Winkler, M.D., DrSc. oncology days are held in Bratislava. At that time, the Department of Radiotherapy ILF was also established, headed for many years by doc. J. Durkovsky, M.D., CSc.
In 1960, the construction of a new clinical part of the Institute began at the premises of the monastery garden, as the original clinical part did not meet hygienic and capacity standards. At that time, research institutes could have a maximum of 100 beds, while the Institute already had 142 beds and after the completion of the new building it was to reach the capacity of 220 beds.
In 1962, the Department of Oncology and Radiology, and later of Nuclear Medicine, was established within the LFUK in Bratislava (Faculty of Medicine). V. Thurzo, M.D. became the head of the department. The Institute became a teaching base for the field of Oncology, Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine. The newly built clinical part of the Institute was opened on 19 June 1964. Based on the Government Resolution no. 751/1958 on the limitation of bedding capacity of research institutes, the Ministry of Health in Prague decided to set aside the bedding capacity from the operation of the Oncological Research Institute in Bratislava and grant it in the administration of the Health Commission, thereby
on January 1, 1966, the independent Institute of Oncology for Slovakia was established. On the same day, the research part of the Institute was separated from the Ministry of Health and it was incorporated into the Slovak Academy of Sciences as the Institute of Experimental Oncology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
The title "Institute of Oncology for Slovakia", Heydukova 14 street was amended by the Measure of the Minister of Health of the SSR of 2 October 1976 no. Z-3 721/1976 B / 2 to "Institute of Clinical Oncology in Bratislava".
After the Velvet Revolution, oncologists were looking for a way to increase the already insufficient number of beds for oncology patients. Similarly, beds for cardiovascular patients were as well necessary, but eventually the hospital, known under the name of the "State Institute of National Health in Bratislava", was given to patients with cancer desease. By the Government Resolution of the SR no. 45 of 24 January 1990, the Government repealed the Resolution no. 334 and agreed with the incorporation of the former State Institute of National Health into the Institute of Clinical Oncology in Bratislava and ordered the Minister of Health and Social Affairs to ensure the operation of the reprofilized medical facility from 1 February 1990, including resolving personnel changes.
On 30 May 1990, the name of the Institute was changed again - from Institute of Clinical Oncology in Bratislava to National Cancer Institute based in Bratislava (by amending the Institutional Deed of the Institute of Clinical Oncology in Bratislava no. 2304/1990-A). Thus the National Cancer Institute practically consisted of the institute on Heydukova Street and the newly acquired building of the State Institute of National Health. The existence of these two institutes as one entity lasted until 30 September 1994. On 1 October 1994, a separate St. Elizabeth Institute of Oncology was created with its registered office in Bratislava on Heydukova street no. 10. The National Cancer Institute continues as an independent medical facility on Klenová Street no. 1.
Although at first glance it seems that the history of the origin and development is more concerned with the St. Elizabeth Institute of Oncology, both oncology institutes, were established from a common base, traditions and personnel.