Alberto Costa MD is CEO of the European School of Oncology (ESO), established in Milan in 1982 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to education about cancer. He is also Editor of the School’s magazine, CancerWorld, available online at

Costa was trained in Milan in cancer surgery with a special focus on breast cancer management. He is scientific adviser for the Multimedica Group’s breast unit, Milan, Italy, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Canton Ticino Breast Unit, Lugano, Switzerland. Both of these units have been certified by EUSOMA (European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists) under his clinical directorship.

He was editor in chief of the journal The Breast from 2003 to 2015 and a member of the editorial board of Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. He has authored over 250 scientific publications.

Previously he has served as Secretary General of the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS). He was involved in setting up the first Europe Against Cancer programme and currently represents ECCO (the European CanCer Organisation) on the European Commission’s Committee of Cancer Experts. He also currently leads ECCO’s Quality of Cancer Care Programme.

Co- founder of Europa Donna, the European Breast Cancer Coalition, he founded Europa Uomo, the patient advocacy movement on prostate cancer and contributed to the establishment of ECPC (the European Cancer Patients Coalition) and to the development of Europa Colon and LUCE (Lung Cancer Europe) dedicating considerable time and effort to cancer patient empowerement.

At national level he has played a key role in the creation of the Italian School of Senology and of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan. He actively contributed to the establishment and development of the American Italian Cancer Foundation (AICF) in New York.

Internationally recognized for his work for the advancement of breast cancer management (co-founder, with Fatima Cardoso, of the ABC, Advanced Breast Cancer task force and conference) and the recipient of several awards (including the ESMO award), Dr Costa is also renowned for his innovative ideas in scientific communication and educational development, specifically the training of doctors. As Director of the European School of Oncology from 1982 to 2015, his work has helped elevate the standards of training and cancer care globally. He has actively encouraged the establishment of collaborative relationships with European and international organizations thus promoting multidisciplinarity and the essential sharing of knowledge and experience for the widest benefit of cancer patients.