World renowned oncologist Professor Umberto Veronesi has passed away

Intro text: 

- Tuesday 15 November 2016 -


World renowned oncologist and founder of the European CanCer Organisation, Professor Umberto Veronesi, passed away at the age of 90 in his home in Milan on Tuesday 8th November.

He dedicated his life to the battle against cancer and more specifically breast cancer. Over the years he garnered recognition for his innovative ideas for the improvement of cancer treatment thanks to the use of systemic treatments and radiotherapy;  this helped to minimize the need for surgery and improve the quality of life of a great many patients.

During the course of his career, which spanned over fifty years, Prof. Veronesi played a key role in  setting up of the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS), which then became ECCO, of which he was president from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1991 to 1993. He also founded the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the European School of Oncology.


“Go forwards, because the world needs science and reason.” Umberto Veronesi


In May 1994, Professor Veronesi was appointed Director at the European Institute of Oncology (Milan, Italy). Prior to this, he was the director at the Instituto Nazionale di Tumori in Milan for 18 years. He also occupied the role of Minister of Health in Italy (April 2000-June 2001) as well as Senator of the 16th Italian Parliament (April 2008-February 2011).

Umberto Veronesi was a true visionary who has had a lasting impact in how cancer is treated throughout Europe and who has always underlined  the importance of collaboration in oncology, including through the creation of a multidisciplinary cancer congress.

His vision will continue to live and be an inspiration for future generations of oncologists and researchers alike.



Find out more on the ECCO website