Within the Oncology Centre of the GZA hospitals at the site of Sint Augustinus Wilrijk, Luc Dirix initiated research in 1994, initially participating mainly  in phase II and III trials in breast cancer.  Phase I studies were first conducted in 1999. 

The increasing number of studies and the broadening of the therapeutic area including general  medical oncology, radiotherapy as well as haematology, required a reorganisation, resulting in the foundation of CTO (Clinical Trials Oncology) in 2010. 

At the beginning of 2011, CTO as a unit was brought together with the Translational Cancer Research Unit  (TCRU) under the Cancer Research Department of the Oncology Centre.