The creation of this unique Pan-European Biobank, SPECTAcolor, has been made possible by the generosity and support of Walgreens Boots Alliance which, through the fundraising initiatives of their local staff and employees in the many countries in Europe and beyond where they have a presence, have committed to a goal of raising €5 million by 2016 for this ground breaking project. Now in the third year of the project their enthusiastic efforts have meant that the fundraising has been very effective and we are very grateful to them for their friendship and their determination to ensure the success of the SPECTAcolor Biobank. This partnership between the EORTC Charitable Trust (now EORTC Cancer Research Fund) and Walgreens Boots Alliance clearly demonstrates the importance they place on Corporate Social Responsibility across all their companies.

The EORTC Cancer Research Fund coordinates all the financial aspects of the SPECTAcolor Biobank project. It receives all donations made at the European and International level. UK donations are collected by the UK charity, the Friends of the EORTC, on behalf of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund. The long term importance and scale of the SPECTAcolor Biobank Project will provide a major benefit to patients. Its main goal is to promote advances in research for advanced stage colorectal cancer and to make personalized medicine for patients possible through this unique clinical research screening platform.

A series of fun,  amazingly challenging and diverse fundraising events are organized at European level by the dedicated Corporate Social Responsibilities teams of our generous donor, Walgreens Boots Alliance. Visit our fundraising section for an exciting guided tour of the scope of the fundraising activities!

Partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance

Supporting the fight against cancer

Walgreens Boots Alliance is committed to meeting its target of €5 million by 2016 for the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Cancer Research Fund to support the creation and funding of a pan-European biobank for colorectal cancer. The biobank aims to help scientific and medical communities find new ways to fight the world’s third most common cancer, which is responsible for around  214.700 deaths a year in Europe.

The international partnership also complements Walgreens Boots Alliance’s existing collaborations with local cancer charities, including Boots UK’s significant and longstanding partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots Ireland’s work for the Irish Cancer Society, not to mention the many other cancer charities the Group supports across Europe. In addition, many Boots UK pharmacists are now trained to give information and advice to those affected by cancer.

For the EORTC Cancer Research Fund specifically, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s employees have been busy enthusiastically supporting the charity through a huge range of fundraising events which have engaged colleagues, suppliers and customers and raised close to €3.9 million in aid of the SPECTAcolor project since the launch of the partnership.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is indeed really supporting the fight against cancer at every level – from pioneering research all the way to helping families to live with the disease.

For further information on the Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda please click here.

 “On behalf of everyone involved at the EORTC, a huge, warm hearted ‘thank you’ to the teams and people at Walgreens  Boots Alliance who have already raised hundreds of thousands of Euros for the charity. We are on the right path to finding new ways to improve colorectal cancer treatments and the funds that are being raised today are vital to ensuring that we are able to develop innovative ways to fight the disease in the future.” Sir Christopher Mallaby, Honorary Vice President, EORTC Cancer Research Fund


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EORTC Cancer Research Fund

The EORTC Charitable Trust (now EORTC Cancer Research Fund) , created in 1976, supports the work of EORTC, helping to fund its structures and making possible many trials which industry will not support. The EORTC Cancer Research Fund, chaired by Count Diego du Monceau de Bergendal, and administered and run by Victoria Agnew, raises much of the money. Some of the funds are raised from the National Cancer Charities of many European countries, which recognise that EORTC performs an essential function in achieving progress in treating cancer. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco is the Honorary President of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund.

Albert II de Monaco resizedHis Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco,
Honorary President of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund




EORTC Ambassadors

Driven by Walgreens Boots Alliance and the EORTC Cancer Research Fund, The EORTC Ambassadors represent the interests of the SPECTAcolor biobank at fundraising events and initiatives.

Blay-resizedProfessor Jean-Yves Blay
University Claude Bernard Lyon, France

Jean-Yves Blay is Professor of Medicine in Medical Oncology and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Centre Leon Bérard of the University Claude Bernard in Lyon. Since 2001, Professor Blay has served as the Chairman of the French Sarcoma Group and currently acts as the Network Director of Conticanet, a network of excellence funded by the EU commission dedicated to novel treatment approaches in sarcomas. Following many years of involvement at the EORTC, Professor Blay was President of the organization between 2009 and 2012. Active member of a number of professional groups and societies, Professor Blay has co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and over 200 abstracts and book chapters.

Aust-resizedDr. Daniela Aust
University of Dresden, Germany

Daniela Aust is attending pathologist at the Institute for Pathology of the TU Dresden, responsible for predictive pathology and gastrointestinal pathology including expert opinions on gastrointestinal dysplasia. She serves in interdisciplinary gastrointestinal tumor centers. Dr. Aust is involved in issuing the evidence-based guidelines for gastric cancer, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease. Her translational research focuses on colorectal carcinogenesis and phenotype-genotype correlations. She is a steering committee member of the EORTC GI Group as well as a member of other national and international professional organizations. Dr. Aust has authored more than 80 educational papers and scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals in addition to serving as a reviewer and on editorial boards.

gunnard-floprechtDr. Gunnar Folprecht
University of Dresden, Germany

Gunnar Folprecht works is medical oncologist at the University Cancer Center in Dresden, where he is responsible for the Daycare / outpatient Unit for Medical Oncology. He studied Medicine in Würzburg and Dresden (Germany). His scientific focus is medical and multidisciplinary treatment of colorectal cancer. He is the chair of the colorectal cancer task force of the EORTC Gastrointestinal Group and he is coordinating several clinical trials, mostly in colorectal cancer. He is the formal coordinating oncologist for the EORTC screening project that is supported by Alliance Boots.

Harbeck-resizedProfessor Nadia Harbeck
University Clinic of München, Germany

Nadia Harbeck is the Head of the Interdisciplinary Breast Center at the University of Cologne. From 2000 to 2009, she was responsible for breast cancer systemic therapy and clinical breast cancer research at the Technical University of Munich. Professor Harbeck is a member of the expert panel issuing the yearly updated evidence-based AGO Guidelines for breast cancer therapy in Germany. Her translational research focuses on prognostic and predictive factors in breast cancer and other solid tumors. In addition, she is a steering committee member of the EORTC PathoBiology Group as well as a member of numerous other national and international professional organizations. Professor Harbeck has authored more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals in addition to serving on the editorial boards.

Daidone-resizedProfessor Maria Grazia Daidone
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milan, Italy

Maria Grazia Daidone is the Director of the Department of Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan, and Head of the research unit on Biomarkers. She serves as an officer for EORTC as the Chairperson of the PathoBiology Group. She is a pre-clinical investigator, and her main scientific interests include the biomolecular characterization and translational studies in several human solid cancers. She has been also involved in promoting biobanking activities, quality control programs for biomarker determination, methodologies for translational research in oncology and guidelines for the clinical use of biomarkers. Maria Grazia Daidone co-authored 180 peer-reviewed articles and 35 book chapters and is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals.

Licitra-resizedDr. Lisa Licitra
Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milan, Italy

 Lisa Licitra is currently assistant physician in charge of the Head and Neck Cancer Medical Oncology Unit at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan and free-contract Professor at State University of Milan. Her main fields of interest are head and neck neoplasms, evidence-based medicine, clinical methodology in oncology, and quality of life. Dr Licitra is a Board Member of EORTC and Elected Chair of Head and Neck Cancer Cooperative Group of EORTC. Dr Licitra has written five book chapters and approximately 70 scientific articles. She is a member of the Clinical Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and editor of START – State-of-the-Art Oncology in Europe, a project of Alleanza Contro il Cancro.

Sternberg-resizedProfessor Cora Sternberg
San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital Rome, Italy

Cora Sternberg is Chief of the Department of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Rome and Adjunct Professor at La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. Professor Sternberg is also Adjunct Professor of Urology and Urological Oncology at Tuft’s University School of Medicine in Boston and at Temple University’s College of Science and Technology in Philadelphia, USA. She has previously held positions at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York and the Department of Medicine for Cancer and Allied Disease at the Memorial Hospital, New York, USA. An elected Board Member of the EORTC, Professor Sternberg is an internationally respected leader in the fields of medical oncology and urological malignancies. She has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and edited four genitourinary oncology textbooks. An Associate Editor of the European Journal of Oncology and the British Journal of Urology International, Professor Sternberg is also an editorial board member of several other international journals.

sabine-tejparProfessor Sabine Tejpar
University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven, Belgium

Sabine Tejpar is Adjunct Clinical Head of the Department of Gastroenterology, Digestive Oncology Unit at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven, Belgium. Professor Tejpar works part time as a clinician and researcher (Senior Clinical Investigator of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders Belgium), with a focus on basic and translational research in colorectal cancer. Her main research projects involve prognostic markers in adjuvant colorectal cancer and predictive markers for efficacy of EGFR inhibition. Professor Tejpar has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications and is an active member of the Gastrointestinal Group of the EORTC. She is a member of advisory board of several pharmaceutical companies in relation to new drug development and translational research in gastrointestinal cancer.

Voest-resizedProfessor Emile Voest
University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Emile Voest is Head of the department of Medical Oncology at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht. With several preclinical and translational research lines, Pr. Voest is heading the personalized cancer treatment program which includes the development and validation of biomarkers as predictive factors of therapy, the development of animal models and a large early clinical trials program with a focus on targeted therapies. He is chair of the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment, a collaboration between the Erasmus MC, NKI and UMC Utrecht, chair of the scientific advisory board of the Dutch Cancer Society and serves in a variety of scientific committees and advisory boards.

Cardoso-resizedDr. Fatima Cardoso
Champalimaud Cancer Center Lisbon, Portugal

Fatima Cardoso is Head of the Breast Cancer Unit and Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Champalimaud Cancer Center in Lisbon. Dr Cardoso’s research interests include biology of breast cancer, prognostic and predictive markers of response to systemic therapy, and new anticancer agents. She is actively involved in a number of phase I-III breast cancer clinical trials and acts as the Scientific Director of the international research network TRANSBIG. Dr Cardoso serves also in numerous professional organizations and committees like the Task Force for the development of international guidelines for metastatic breast cancer. Dr Cardoso has authored over 200 publications and has presented her work nationally and internationally.

Salazar-resizedDr. Ramon Salazar
Catalàn Institute of Oncology L´Hospitalet de Llobregat Barcelona, Spain

Ramon Salazar is Head of the Early Clinical Research Unit at the Medical Oncology Department of the Catalàn Institute of Oncology, L´Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. Dr. Salazar also leads clinical and research programs in the Gastrointestinal Unit of the Institute, with a special focus on colorectal cancer and NETs. Dr. Salazar is a board member of the Spanish Cooperative Group for Gastrointestinal Tumor Therapy and is Chairman of Spanish Task Force Gastrointestinal NETs group. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in medical journals, and written numerous book chapters and monographs. In addition, Dr. Salazar has organized a number of symposia and teaching activities on behalf of organizations including the University of Barcelona and the European School of Oncology.

victoria-agnewMrs Victoria Agnew
EORTC Cancer Research Fund and Friends of EORTC, UK

Victoria Agnew is the Director of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund. She is responsible for the management and administration of the Charity and of the Friends of EORTC, the UK Charity. Mrs. Agnew is an honorary member of the Board of the EORTC as well as a Member of the Council of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund. She is also a Trustee of the Friends of EORTC. Before joining the Charitable Trust in 1998 (now EORTC Cancer Research Fund), Mrs. Agnew worked in the international oil and British commercial property sectors for many years before joining the National Gallery under the leadership of the Chairman, Lord Rothschild and Director, Neil McGregor in London to create support for the Gallery from the corporate sector for the first time. She left the National Gallery in 1993, to establish the World Monuments Fund in Britain with the famous historian, John Julius, Viscount, Norwich and Colin Amery, the eminent architectural historian.

christopher-mallabySir Christopher Mallaby
EORTC Cancer Research Fund and Friends of EORTC, UK

Sir Christopher Mallaby, born in 1936, is the Honorary Vice President of the Cancer Research Fund which supports the work of EORTC. He held the chairmanship of the EORTC Charitable Trust  (now EORTC Cancer Research Fund) from 2001 until spring 2014. He is an Honorary Member of the Board of EORTC and Chairman of the Friends of EORTC, the UK Charity. He was British Ambassador to Germany from 1988 to 1992 and to France from 1992 to 1996. Sir Christopher Mallaby worked for ten years as a Managing Director in UBS Investment Bank. He has been a member of the boards of various companies in the UK, France and Germany. He has held senior voluntary positions in the same countries, including work in museums and universities.

Lawler-resizedProfessor Mark Lawler
Queens University Belfast, UK

 Mark Lawler is Visiting Professor in Experimental Cancer Medicine, Queens University Belfast and Visiting Professor in Medical Genetics/ Molecular Medicine, University of Chieti, Italy. His career has focussed on translating knowledge on the molecular basis of cancer to novel diagnostic and anti-cancer approaches. He was a founder member of the Prostate Cancer Research Consortium that created the first Irish prostate cancer biorepository. He has published over 130 articles in international peer review journals and been honoured with numerous international awards. He is former President of the Irish Association for Cancer Research and a key member of the Ireland/Northern Ireland/ National Cancer Institute Cancer Consortium Scientific Advisory Group. He has participated in a number of cancer focussed community outreach initiatives including “Your Health is your Wealth” and “Wise up! It’s your life too!”

Smyth-resizedProfessor John F. Smyth
University of Edinburgh, UK

John Smyth trained in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, the NCI and the University of Chicago. For 30 years he served as Chair of Medical Oncology in the University of Edinburgh, where his major research interest is the development of new anti-cancer drugs. Since January 2009 as Emeritus Professor he was appointed Assistant Principal for Cancer Research Development. He has published over 300 papers and is Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Cancer. He has taken a major interest in the licensing of new medicines and has served on the EMEA Scientific Advisory Group for Oncology & currently Chair’s the Expert Advisory Group for Oncology & Haematology for the Commission on Human Medicines.

Abacioglu-resizedProfessor Ufuk Abacioglu
Neolife Medical Center Istanbul, Turkey

Ufuk Abacioglu is Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Neolife Medical Center in Istanbul. He obtained his medical degree in 1993 from the University of Istanbul and specialized in Radiation Oncology. He worked and taught at the Marmara University between 1998 and 2011 and was the Chair of Radiation Oncology Department between 2005 and 2011. He is an active member of the EORTC Radiation Oncology Group and has participated in several trials. Professor Abacioglu conducted or has been involved in more than 40 national and international studies. He is in the Executive Board of Turkish Society of Radiation Oncology since 2008 and European Association of Neurooncology (EANO) since 2010. Professor Abacioglu authored or co-authored 70 peer-reviewed articles, 190 meeting abstracts and 5 book chapters.

Yalcin-resizedProfessor Suayib Yalcin
Hacettepe University Ankara, Turkey

Suayib Yalcin is a medical oncologist of the Hacettepe University Institute of Oncology. His main areas of interest are gastrointestinal cancers also including neuroendocrine tumors and gastrointestinal stromal tumors as well as supportive care. Graduating from Hacettepe University, he became a Medical Oncologist in 1997, and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Gastrointestinal Oncology Department at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA. He was appointed as a full professor in 2004. He is currently serving as the president of Medical Oncology Association and also President of Turkish Association for Cancer Research and Control. Active member of ASCO, IASGO, MMOF and immediate past national representative of Turkey in ESMO, he has participated in many clinical cancer researches, as a steering committee member or principal investigator and serves as editorial board of several cancer journals. He has authored/co-authored more than 80 articles.

Fundraising events

A series of exciting events are developed in collaboration with Walgreens Boots Alliance. View all fundraising events