The EORTC was founded as an international organization under Belgian law in 1962 by eminent oncologists working in the main cancer research institutes of the EU countries and Switzerland. It was named the Groupe Européen de Chimiothérapie Anticancéreuse (GECA) and became the EORTC in 1968. The EORTC is an independent research organization dedicated to investigator driven clinical trials and translational research and has not only an impressive track record in establishing ‘state-of-the-art’ treatments but also in ensuring that new cancer agents are developed and tested efficiently with the aim of minimizing delays between laboratory discovery and their therapeutic benefit for patients. Over the years, the EORTC has adapted its structure and expanded its premises to respond to the challenges of modern cancer clinical and translational research. The aims of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) are to develop, conduct, coordinate, and stimulate translational and clinical research in Europe to improve the management of cancer and related problems by increasing survival but also patient quality of life. Extensive and comprehensive research in this wide field is often beyond the means of individual European hospitals and can be best accomplished through the multidisciplinary multinational efforts of basic scientists and clinicians. The ultimate goal of the EORTC is to improve the standard of cancer treatment through the testing of more effective therapeutic strategies based on drugs, surgery and/or radiotherapy that are already in use. The 190 members of the EORTC Headquarters staff handle some 6,000 new patients enrolled each year in cancer clinical trials, approximately 46 protocols that are permanently open to patient entry, over 23,000 patients who are in follow-up, and a database of more than 190,000 patients. EORTC Associate Membership is individually managed within an institution. If an institution is qualified to participate in EORTC activities, then all potential investigators from that institution are welcome to join the research activities of any EORTC Group. EORTC Associate Membership is by approval of the EORTC Membership Committee and endorsed annually by the EORTC Board. In order to guarantee the quality of these trials and to facilitate their coordination and logistics, the EORTC has developed procedures and templates specific to this type of trials. These documents were made taking into account the legal requirements in Europe but also the policies of major cancer research groups outside Europe (such as NCI policies). Following these policies, all groups within a trial use the same protocol, the same set of CRFs, and a central database which is the first guarantee for consistency of results. The EORTC is funded through several sources including the EORTC Cancer Research Fund providing a core grant which is mainly supported by numerous national cancer leagues.