The ECCO community mourns the passing of Professor Umberto Veronesi in Milan yesterday, 8 November, 2016.
A global giant in the care of cancer patients and a leading surgeon, Umberto Veronesi has left us. Umberto Veronesi devoted the greater part of his professional life to exploring the paths of research with the aim of improving the treatment and the quality of life for cancer patients. He is renowned for his innovative ideas to improve treatment of cancer, often minimizing the extent of surgery and making use of the strengths in combining surgery with systemic treatments and radiotherapy.
Umberto Veronesi played a crucial role in setting up the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS), which then became ECCO - the European CanCer Organisation. He was President of FECS from 1981 to 1983 and then again from 1991 to 1993. It was he who engaged European societies of the main cancer disciplines to come together to host a multidisciplinary cancer congress.
In May 1994, he took the position of Scientific Director at European Institute of Oncology (Milan, Italy). Before, he directed the Instituto Nazionale di Tumori in Milan for 18 years. Prof. Veronesi was the founder of the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the European School of Oncology. He was entrusted with the post of Minister of Health in the Italian Government (April 2000-June 2001) and Senator of the 16th Italian Parliament (April 2008-February 2011).
Umberto Veronesi was a true visionary who shaped the cancer landscape, improving the treatment of cancer throughout Europe. ECCO works hard through its 24 member societies to implement his vision of strong multidisciplinary cooperation among oncology professionals in the interest of patients. Our upcoming ECCO2017 congress in Amsterdam (27-30 January, 2017) will continue the strong multisdisciplinary ethos which is a powerful testament to Professor Veronesi’s vision and work in cancer.
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We will all miss Umberto Veronesi, his vision and untiring optimism to improve the life of cancer patients.