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Executive Committee

Dr Tit Albreht
CanCon Project Coordinator, Institute of Public Health of Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dr Albreht is Head of the Centre for Analyses of Health Systems, Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia. He is a researcher in the field of health services research, health policy and health systems research, member of the Scientific Committee of EUPHA, member of Academy Health, member of the Slovenian Preventive Medicine Society - currently also member of its Board and a member of the Health Council of the Ministry of Health of Slovenia.

He is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the Department of Public Health of the Medical Faculty in Ljubljana. He acts as a reviewer of several scientific journals and of projects submitted for funding to the European Commission. He is Project Coordinator for CanCon and was Work Package leader on the European Partnership on Action Against Cancer charged with exploring national cancer plans.


Professor Ian Banks
European Men’s Health Forum, Brussels, Belgium
University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Professor Banks is a retired accident and emergency doctor and general practitioner, a visiting professor in the medical school of the University of Leeds and a Visiting Professor in men’s health at the University of Ulster and honorary senior lecturer in men and cancer at Queens University Medical School and Leeds Metropolitan University. Ian is the current chair of the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) Patient Advisory Committee (PAC and a former president of the Men’s Health Forum (England and Wales), past vice president of the International Society of Men’s Health (ISMH), past deputy editor of the Men’s Health Journal and, for six years, the medical editor for Men’s Health magazine. He was a trustee of Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP, formerly Doctor Patient Partnership) for six years. Ian is a founder member of the Self Care Forum (UK) and the official spokesman on men’s health issues for the BMA.

He was awarded the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) Gold Medal for public health in 2007 and, in 2012 was appointed as Professorial Fellow to the Society. Professor Banks is a member of the ECC Board.


Dr Sarper Diler
Myeloma Patients Europe, Istanbul, Turkey

Dr Diler is a Professor at Istanbul University Medical Faculty. His research interests include KIR Genes, HLA polymorphism and disease associations as well as matching in stem cell transplant settings and specialized in biobanking. He is one of the pioneers of biobanking in Turkey.

The loss of his brother from cancer has driven Sarper in the fight against cancer and his current roles include those of President, Myeloma Patients Europe, Director & CEO of KOKDER and on the Board of Directors of the Lymphoma Coalition. He was also the founder member and first president of CancerPlatform of TURKEY, bringing together 12 cancer associations throughout Turkey.

Dr Diler’s reputation, which comes from his academic, medical professional career as well as in the media, has been instrumental in driving pioneering NGO projects on cancer.


Dr h.c. Peter Kapitein
Inspire2Live, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. h.c. Peter Kapitein is a Patient Advocate of Inspire2Live. He connects patients, researchers and clinicians to further research, treatments and care; in the Netherlands as well as internationally. He organises congresses, lobbies the matrix of public authorities, health care organisations, insurance companies and health research institutes. Peter also give lectures and talks to help patients and society to fight cancer where possible and live with cancer with a good quality of life. He writes blogs, articles and books that also contribute to these topics.

Peter was the co-founder of Alpe d’HuZes, the foundation that is most famous for the annual cycling event on Mount Alpe d’Huez. They raised over 100 million euros for the fight against cancer. Peter works at the Central Bank of the Netherlands as a program manager and advisor for complex and politically difficult problems. His employer facilitates him in his patient advocacy. Peter was honoured with a doctorate in October 2012 at the Free University in Amsterdam.


Dr Sakari Karjalainen
Association of European Cancer Leagues, Brussels, Belgium

Dr Karjalainen is the President of Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and secretary general of the Cancer Society of Finland. As ECL President Dr Karjalainen is responsible for leading the pan-European cancer control activities of ECL, whose vision is a Europe free of cancers.

Sakari holds a docotorate in medical sciences (epidemiology) His main research interests are research ethics, equity in health and education and cancer epidemiology.

Dr Karjalainen is also leading the EU Joint Action Cancon work package 2 and the EU Joint Action of Rare Cancers work package 3. His previous roles include those of; Director General of the Department of Education and Science Policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland and Secretary General of Research Council for Health at the Academy of Finland, the main funding organisation for academic research in Finland.


Professor Carlo La Vecchia
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Milan

Professor La Vecchia received his medical degree from the University of Milan and a master of science degree in clinical epidemiology from Oxford University. He is recognized worldwide as a leading authority in cancer aetiology and epidemiology. Presently, he is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine at the University of Milan. Professor La Vecchia serves as an editor for numerous clinical and epidemiologic journals. He is among the most renowned and productive epidemiologists in the field with over 1,950 peer-reviewed papers in the literature (Pubmed) and is among the most highly cited medical researchers in the world, according to ISIHighlyCited.com, the developer and publisher of the Science Citation Index (h index, 136, total IF over 7000, over 120,000 quotations). Professor La Vecchia is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Professor La Vecchia is a temporary advisor at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and a registered journalist in Milan. He was Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health between 1996 and 2001 and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Lausanne, CH (2000-14), was Senior Research Fellow at the International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC/WHO between 2006 and 2008, and Head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Mario Negri Institute, Milan between 2007 and 2014.

Professor La Vecchia’s main fields of interest include cancer epidemiology and the risk related to diet, tobacco, hormone use and occupational or environmental exposure to toxic substances; and analysis of temporal trends and geographical distribution of mortality from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, perinatal and other selected conditions.


Ms Kate Law
Consultant Advisor, ECC

Kate Law is currently the Director of the Lister Institute (a scientific grant giving body) and is also a cancer survivor.  She originally trained as nurse and roles included that of research nurse at University College London, running trials evaluating Quality of Life in lung cancer patients. She then worked at Cancer Research UK for more than 20 years, latterly as Director of Clinical and Population Research. In this role she established the first patient helpline and website for the Charity and managed the strategy and budget for the clinical and population research funded by CRUK.

Kate also represented the Charity on key national and international committees, working groups and review panels including; the Royal Marsden Hospital Board of Governors and the Board of the International Rare Cancer initiative Board (with NCRI, EORTC and NCRN) and regularly acted as a media spokesperson on clinical matters.

In additional to her role at the Lister Institute, Kate is acting as an advisor to the ECC.



Professor Mark Lawler
Queens University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom

Professor Mark Lawler is Dean of Education for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences and Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast. He has published widely in high impact international journals and has received a number of prestigious national and international awards for his research. Mark is Vice President of the European Cancer Concord (ECC), and was the architect of the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights, which he helped launch on World Cancer Day 2014 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He has been to the forefront of a number of patient focussed cancer healthcare initiatives including “Your Health is Your Wealth” (a community based initiative addressing early diagnosis) and “Wise Up – it’s Your Life too!” (an adolescent focussed cancer initiative) and has worked with the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (NICFC) on an Art Therapy initiative for children with cancer.

Mark is the Queen’s University Belfast lead for the MRC-CRUK Funded Stratified Medicine Colorectal Cancer Consortium (S:CORT) and also leads S:CORT’s Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement Work Stream. He is a member of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) Clinical Working Group Executive and co-chair of the GA4GH Cancer Task Team and is committed to promoting a responsible but effective data sharing culture in cancer research and cancer care for the benefit of patients. Mark is Chair of the Research Working Group of the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) and launched their Research Roadmap for Personalised Medicine in Europe in Brussels in September 2014. He sits on a number of European Commission/European Research Council Committees in Brussels.

Professor Lawler is a member of the ECC Board.


Professor Thierry Le Chevalier
Institute Gustave Roussy, Paris, France

Professor Le Chevalier is currently Head of Department at the Institute Gustave Roussy, Paris, France.

Dr Le Chevalier was formerly director, international affairs, at the French National Cancer Institute. Prior to this, he held a number of positions at the Institut Gustave Roussy in France including Head of the Division of Cancer.

Thierry research interests include therapeutic strategies for lung cancer, development of new cancer dugs and translational research. He has written and contributed to more than 300 publications, presentations and books and he is currently the associate editor of Annals of Oncology and the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. He has previously held the position of chairman of both the Lung Cancer Group of the French Federation of Cancer Centres and the Scientific Committee of the French Intergroup of Thoracic Oncology. From 2006-2009, Professor Le Chevalier was Vice-President and Scientific Advisor Oncology GSK Europe (London).


Professor Françoise Meunier
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Brussels, Belgium

Professor Meunier was Director General of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, from 1991 to April 2015 and continues as leader of special projects. She received her medical degree, Masters and PhD from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and completed her research fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Professor Meunier led the coordination and administration of all EORTC activities since 1991 with the mandate to promote the EORTC as a major European organisation in the field of oncology with a network of 2,500 oncologists in over 300 universities and a Headquarters staff of 160 representing 17 different nationalities.

Before joining the EORTC Françoise was Head of the Infectious Disease Department at the Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels and her personal area of research focused on Invasive Fungal Infections in Cancer Patients. She has over 150 peer-reviewed published articles and is a member of numerous international oncology scientific societies.

Professor Meunier has received numerous awards in recognition for her unique contribution to oncology and for the dedication of her professional life to the improvement of cancer treatment, care and research, including; the Belgian Laureate “Prix Femmes d’Europe. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians UK, a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences, a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine (Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique) and, in 2007, she was awarded the honorary title of Baroness by His Royal Majesty King Albert II of Belgium. She received an Honorary Degree from Queen’s University Belfast in 2015


Ms Kathy Oliver
International Brain Tumour Alliance, Tadworth, Surrey, United Kingdom

Kathy Oliver is Chair and founding Co-Director of the International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA), a unique global network for brain tumour patient and caregiver groups around the world. The IBTA works alongside researchers, scientists, clinicians, nurses, allied healthcare professionals and other stakeholders to engage in advocacy, to raise awareness and to share information.

Kathy, a frequent speaker at international neuro-oncology and cancer conferences, is a founder-member of Rare Cancers Europe; Vice-Chair of the European CanCer Organisation’s (ECCO) Patient Advisory Committee (PAC); Co-Chair of the Project Advisory Board for the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI); a member of the Council of the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS), having also served on the BNOS Rare Brain Tumours Guidelines Group; a member of the European Society of Medical Oncology’s (ESMO) Patient Advocacy Working Group (PAWG); a founder member/former Board member of Cancer52 (the UK umbrella organisation for nearly 100 rare cancer patient organisations) and a member of the UK NCRI Brain Tumour Palliative and Supportive Care Subgroup. Kathy serves on the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) Guidelines Task Force on Palliative/Supportive/End-of-Life Care and is the Cochrane Consumer Referee for the Cochrane Neuro-Oncology Group. She also serves on the European Commission’s Expert Group on Cancer Control.

Kathy’s son, Colin, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004 at age 24 and passed away, at age 32, in August 2011.  She cites her son’s “incredible courage, determination and fortitude” as the driving force and inspiration behind her involvement in the international brain tumour and rare cancer community.


Professor Peter Selby CBE FMedSci
University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom 

Professor Selby is a consultant physician at St James’s University Hospital and Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds.  Peter trained at King’s College Hospital, the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and at the Princess Margaret Hospital and Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto.  He moved to Leeds in 1988 and has had a number of positions including; Head of Oncology and Cancer Research, Director of the Leeds Biomedical and Health Research Centre and Director of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine. From 2000-2004 he initiated and was Director of the National Cancer Research Network and from 2004-2010 he established and was Joint Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, providing support to clinical research within the NHS and delivering improvements in participation and the quality of research and services.

Peter’s clinical interests have covered a wide range of cancer treatments and tumour sites, most recently urological cancers and cancers of teenagers and young adults.  His research programmes have included high dose chemotherapy, combination chemotherapies, biological therapies and biomarkers, psychosocial oncology and psychometrics and clinical trials.  His current research programmes are in biomarker discovery and evaluation.

Professor Selby was appointed Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998, and awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to cancer research and cancer care.  He is President of the Association of Cancer Physicians and won the Pfizer Excellence in Oncology Lifetime Achievement award in 2007.  He is an Honorary Life member of the British Psychosocial Oncology Society and remains a co-investigator on patient reported outcome research into prostate cancer and chemotherapy toxicity.   In 2011 he was awarded a DSc.

Peter is President of the Association of Cancer Physicians and President and Chief Executive of the European Cancer Concord (ECC).


Professor Christoph Zielinski
Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Medicine I, Medical University Vienna, General Hospital, Vienna, Austria

Professor Zielinski is Director of the Clinical Division of Oncology and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Medical University Vienna, Austria. He serves as Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medical University Vienna and the General Hospital in Vienna, Austria, and is President of the Central European Cooperative Oncology Group. Professor Zielinski completed his medical training at the University Hospital Vienna and began his career as a research fellow at Tufts University, Boston, USA.

Christoph’s recent clinical research activities cover a wide range of cancer therapies, with particular focus on clinical trials, breast and lung cancer research and treatment and development of targeted drugs. He has published over 550 original papers and reviews in peer-review journals and is a member of the editorial board of numerous peer review journals.

Professor Zielinski is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and is a member of the Executive Board of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). Professor Zielinski is the Editor-in-Chief of ESMO Open - Cancer Horizons.