1 October 2015
Death of Fellow Professor Massimo Crespi 28 September 2015Massimo Crespi passed away on 28 September 2015, two weeks after a diagnosis of lung cancer. He was a physician who devoted his professional life to the prevention, screening and early detection of cancer.
Professor Crespi earned a degree in Medicine at the University of Rome in 1959. After hospital training and specializations in Gastroenterology and Metabolic and Liver Diseases at the same institution, he joined the National Cancer Institute Regina Elena in Rome where he established the new Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Service. In 1980, Professor Crespi's interests shifted to oncology and under his chairmanship a new department was created at Regina Elena. This new "Cancer Detection Center" encompassed the whole spectrum of cancer prevention from epidemiology to six specialized units devoted to cancer screening. A fruitful collaboration between the Center and the International Agency for Research on Cancer led to research in Iran, China, South America and Africa focused on the multi-factorial etiology of esophageal cancer. Dr. Crespi became a leading figure in the international arena of gastroenterology as President of the World Organization of Digestive Endoscopy and Chair of the United European Gastroenterology Federation. He was also awarded Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians in London and elected as a Governor of the American College of Gastroenterology. Professor Crespi remained devoted to the promotion of prevention and screening in retirement serving as the Secretary General of the Mediterranean Task Force for Cancer Control.
Professor Crespi participated actively in the Collegium Ramazzini since his election in 1983, serving multiple terms on the Executive Council. He lent his expertise and leadership to the creation of the Collegium's 12th official statement entitled "Cancer Prevention, Screening and Early Diagnosis, the Neglected Side of Cancer Control: A Call for Action" and was awarded in 2008 the academy's prestigious Ramazzini Award for his scientific and institutional contribution to the prevention, screening and early detection of cancer.
Massimo was a true follower of Bernardino Ramazzini and set an example as an innovator in preventive medicine. His contributions in the field of detection and prevention of gastrointestinal cancer aided the protection of public health around the world.