September 2011

Heine Hansen

Heine Hoi Hansen, MD 1938-2001

It with deep sadness the IASLC received the message that one of its Founders, Prof. Heine Hoi Hansen passed away in Copenhagen, September 16. 2011.

WCLC 2nd

Dr. Hansen was at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1972 when a group of lung cancer investigators decided to arrange the First International Workshop for Therapy of Lung Cancer at Airlie House Conference Center in Virginia sponsored by the US NCI. At that meeting it was decided to make a lung cancer society to promote research and education in lung cancer and Dr. Hansen was instrumental in the development. IASLC society was formally established in 1974 and the 1st World Conference was held in Hilton Head, SC, US in 1977. The 2nd World Conference on Lung Cancer was held in Copenhagen in 1980 and Heine H. Hansen was the Congress President. 

Heine H. Hansen served on the IASLC Board of Directors from 1985 -1994 and served as the IASLC President 1988-1991. In 1994 he was selected as the IASLC Executive Director and established an IASLC Headquarters in Copenhagen. He served in this role as Executive Director until 2003 and during this period there was remarkable growth in IASLC membership and WCLC attendees.

Heine H. Hansen founded the official IASLC Journal “Lung Cancer”, which was published for the first time in 1985, and Dr. Hansen was the Editor-in-Chief until 2005. Heine H. Hansen has also played a significant role in the development of medical oncology in Europe and served as Pres  (1995-1997) and later instrumental in the development of a global curriculum in medical oncology, a work he led in conjunction with ESMO and ASCO.

Heine H. Hansen made a significant scientific contribution to development of chemotherapy for solid tumors and particularly lung cancer. He made the Finsen Institute in Copenhagen to an international research center for lung cancer in general and small cell carcinoma in particular and moved that to the National University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) for further development. He was instrumental in the development of cancer clinical trials in Europe and mentored many clinical oncologists.

Heine H. Hansen was a dynamic leader both for the IASLC and other organizations as well as for national and international research in lung cancer, and he has received numerous international awards.

Our thoughts these days go to his wife, Lise, who stood with his side throughout the whole career and the two children, Thomas and Marie with their families.

The IASLC has lost an instrumental leader. His footsteps are heavily printed, and may his legacy be to a blessing for the new generation of lung cancer investigators and all the patients waiting for new developments!

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, and Paul A. Bunn, Jr, MD