31.01.2023

It is with sadness that we have to inform you, that the founder of our Foundation SONK, honorary chair, colleague and friend,

Professor Hans-Joerg Senn, 1934-2023, passed away on January 13th.

As one of the worldwide leading oncologists he had a marked impact on breast cancer treatment and research, leaving behind an incredible legacy. He was among the founder team of the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), when it was established in 1992 and he led it as first Foundation Council President until 1995. He was president of many cancer societies, published uncountable manuscripts and edited highly regarded scientific journals and books. He was Co-Chair of the Department Internal Medicine und Head of the Division Oncology-Hematology at the Kantonsspital St.Gallen for two decades and eventually opened a private cancer center with a dedicated team. Within the context of the Foundation SONK, he was able to successfully fulfil the mission of distributing knowledge, focusing on tailored treatment and care in individuals with early breast cancer worldwide.

From the beginning in the Seventies, Hans-Joerg was the driving force of the international core team of the St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference, together with Bernhard Fisher and Gianni Bonadonna. Later, together with his friends Alan Coates, Rich Gelber and Aron Goldhirsch, he was very active in the development of the scientific program, in the construction of the inspiring consensus session and in co-authoring the world known St.Gallen Breast Cancer Consensus Recommendations. His services and compassion for this unique event are unmeasurable. In 2003, he installed the St.Gallen Breast Cancer Award, to honor outstanding individuals for their key contributions to the field of breast cancer.

Prof. Senn was a deeply respected colleague, physician and warm-hearted friend. We will remember him for his kindness and his wisdom, his commitment to excellence in cancer care. As a dedicated cancer researcher and physician, he made the world a better place.

You are no longer there, where you were, but you are everywhere where we are (Victor Hugo)

In loving memory,

Prof. Christoph Senn, President of the Foundation St.Gallen Oncology (SONK)
Dr. Agnes Glaus, CEO and Team
Prof. Michael Gnant, Wien, Prof. Dr. med. R. Mertelsmann, Freiburg i.B.; Prof. Beat Thürlimann, St.Gallen, Prof. Walter Weber, Basel, Foundation Council SONK