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Umberto Veronesi, Milan


In 1982 Umberto Veronesi, a visionary in cancer care and treatment, alongside Laudomia Del Drago, a distinguished member of the Roman aristocracy and a breast cancer survivor, founded The European School of Oncology. They believed through increasing access to oncology education, cancer could not just be diagnosed sooner but treatment could improve, and in turn reduce the number of deaths.








Laudomia Del Drago, Rome

Honorary President

Leading oncologists from around the world joined the cause, playing a key role in the founding of ESO. They include Sir Michael Peckham, then a UK-based international leader in radiotherapy, best known for pioneering the technique of mantle field radiation; Franco Cavalli, a Swiss haematologist who led efforts to develop medical oncology as a recognised discipline in Europe, and was a founder member of the European Society for Medical Oncology; Louis Denis a urologist from Antwerp, who had been instrumental in setting up the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer; and Bob Pinedo, who at the time was co-editing Cancer Chemotherapy with Bruce Chabner, deputy director of the US National Cancer Institute, and was practising translational research at his Utrecht base in the Netherlands long before there was a word for it.

Michael Peckham


Franco Cavalli


Bob Pinedo


Louis Denis


Today, ESO is the one of the most established organisations exclusively dedicated to increasing the knowledge of health professionals in all fields of cancer medicine with the support of an international scientific committee and advisory board. Our partners and staff in Milan and Bellinzona, along with our supporters from all over the world, including the more than 1000 lecturers and experts and 20,000 alumni, continue to be fundamental to the on-going success of ESO.