HRH Prince Philip was a strong advocate of cancer research and European cooperation: EORTC and ECRF pay tribute to their first honorary president

HRH Prince Philip - ECRF Honorary President 1975 - 1992

It is with great sadness that European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and EORTC Cancer Research Fund (ECRF) learn of the passing of His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April. HRH Prince Philip was the first Honorary President of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund (formerly known as the EORTC Foundation). He accepted the invitation of Sir Ronald Grierson, Founder and first Chairman of the EORTC Foundation. He remained as Honorary President for 17 years.

HRH Prince Philip was well known for his interest in science and engineering and for supporting the younger generation in these fields, as he believed that progressive innovation would improve people’s lives. EORTC was founded in 1962 by leading cancer experts. Their objective was to conduct clinical research across Europe to provide better treatment and care for cancer patients. EORTC Cancer Research Fund was originally set up in 1975 in the UK and 1976 internationally to promote, encourage and support clinical research on the treatment of cancer under the auspices of the EORTC. The Foundation was delighted to have His Royal Highness at its helm to advocate for clinical cancer research. He played a valuable role in supporting high profile fundraising events, creating awareness for the importance of European collaboration, especially between UK and Europe, to further clinical research in cancer.

“Since 1962, we have made many major breakthroughs in cancer that have changed thousands of cancer patients’ lives,” said Dr Denis Lacombe, Director General of EORTC. “We are currently working on over 200 clinical trials across Europe and beyond as well as publishing around 70 scientific papers a year. We are indebted to His Royal Highness Prince Philip for his support to our mission to improve cancer care through European cooperation.”

Count Diego du Monceau, Chairman of EORTC Cancer Research Fund since 2014 said:  “We would like to express our deepest appreciation for His Royal Highness Prince Philip’s vision, wisdom, generosity, and the time he has spent promoting the objectives of the EORTC: Increasing the life expectancy and the quality of life of cancer patients. He was a great believer in collaborating across Europe to advance medical science.  We want to thank him, and we respectfully send our condolences to the Queen and her family.”

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