History Timeline

Over the years, EORTC’s clinical research has helped make significant progress in the treatment and management of cancer, evaluating new molecules, refining existing treatment regimens, identifying biomarkers and assessing patients’ quality of life.

Many of our 1400+ studies in the past 55 years have resulted in practice-changing treatments and the establishment of new standards of care, or shown that others are ineffective or redundant.

  1. Georges Mathé (1962 -1965)

    Villejuif - France


    Founded as an international organisation under Belgian law as Groupe Européen de Chimiothérapie Anticancéreuse (GECA)

  2. Silvio Garattini (1965-1968)

    Milan - Italy


    Launched European Journal of Cancer, an international multidisciplinary oncology journal, together with the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) and the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA)

  3. Silvio Garattini (1965-1968)

    Milan - Italy


    Changed its name to European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

  4. D. Willem van Bekkum (1969-1975)

    Rijswijk - Netherlands

  5. D. Willem van Bekkum (1969-1975)

    Rijswijk - Netherlands


    Opened the NCI liaison office within the EORTC premises

  6. D. Willem van Bekkum (1969-1975)

    Rijswijk - Netherlands


    Established the EORTC Data Center (today EORTC headquarters) to provide methodological and coordinating services by clinical research specialists to EORTC groups

  7. Henri Tagnon (1975-1978)

    Brussels - Belgium

  8. Henri Tagnon (1975-1978)

    Brussels - Belgium


    Created EORTC Foundation (today EORTC Cancer Research Fund)

  9. Lazlo George Latja (1979-1981)

    Manchester - United Kingdom

  10. Carl Gottfried Schmidt (1981-1984)

    Essen - Germany

  11. Umberto Veronesi (1985-1988)

    Milan - Italy

  12. Louis Denis (1988-1991)

    Antwerp - Belgium

  13. Emmanuel Van der Schueren (1991-1994)

    Leuven - Belgium


    Started the EORTC Fellowship Programme

  14. Emmanuel Van der Schueren (1991-1994)

    Leuven - Belgium


    Created the Quality of Life department at EORTC, and introduction of EORTC QLQ-C30, the first validated general cancer Quality of Life questionnaire for cancer patients. In our experience, measurement system is now the most frequently-used QoL questionnaire in cancer clinical trials worldwide

  15. Gordon McVie (1994-1997)

    London - United Kingdom

  16. Gordon McVie (1994-1997)

    London - United Kingdom


    Prof Françoise Meunier appointed first Director General of the EORTC Data Center

  17. Gordon McVie (1994-1997)

    London - United Kingdom


    Created the Regulatory department

  18. Jean-Claude Horiot (1997-2000)

    Dijon - France


    Created the EORTC Pharmacovigilance department

  19. Allan T. van Oosterom (2000-2003)

    Leuven - Belgium

  20. Alexander M. Eggermont (2003-2006)

    Rotterdam - Netherlands

  21. Alexander M. Eggermont (2003-2006)

    Rotterdam - Netherlands


    Created the EORTC Academic fund to support non-commercial pivotal clinical trials

  22. Martine Piccart (2006-2009)

    Brussels - Belgium

  23. Martine Piccart (2006-2009)

    Brussels - Belgium


    Established of the EORTC Network of Core Institutions

  24. Martine Piccart (2006-2009)

    Brussels - Belgium


    Introduced EORTC Radiotherapy Quality Assurance

  25. Jean-Yves Blay (2009-2012)

    Lyon - France


    Created EORTC Imaging Platform

  26. Jean-Yves Blay (2009-2012)

    Lyon - France


    Developed specific methodology for clinical trials in the elderly

  27. Jean-Yves Blay (2009-2012)

    Lyon - France


    • Strategy shift led to new cross-discipline programmes such as SPECTA for translational research and Survivorship for outcomes research
    • In partnership with Alliance Boots, launched SPECTAcolor programme for research in advanced colorectal cancer
  28. Roger Stupp (2012-Current)

    Lausanne - Switzerland


    • Held first EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit
    • Selected to join EU Expert Group on Cancer Control
  29. Roger Stupp (2012-Current)

    Lausanne - Switzerland


    • Established central biobanking system to support precision medicine clinical research
    • Entered a landmark collaborative agreement with the Japan Clinical Oncology Group