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Joerg Hasford We are saddened to share the news of the death of Professor Jörg Hasford last month. Jörg Hasford was a German physician, biometrician, and epidemiologist. For 33 years he was the biometrician of the German CML Study Group and as such a member of the European Investigators on CML. His scientific merits comprise the 5 randomized CML studies of the German CML group 1984 - 2017 and, in cooperation with the European CML investigators, meta-analyses of clinical trials, the EUTOS CML registry and 2 prognostic scores, the EUTOS score and the Euro score carrying his name. Towards the end of his career he got involved in medical ethics. Due to his scientific thoroughness and carefulness he became an expert advisor on clinical trials to the European Commission and was elected President of national European Ethics Committees in Brussels.

We share below the funeral oration from Professor Rüdiger Hehlmann, his close professional colleague.

Funeral oration for Jörg Hasford on 22.6.2021 at the cemetery in Gräfelfing

Dear Mrs. Hasford, dear daughter Laura with family, dear mourners,

For 33 years Jörg Hasford and I were connected by our joint work on the CML studies.

When 4 years ago the formal farewell symposium of the CML Study Group took place, where he gave a lecture about the planned EU study regulations, nobody would have believed that we would say goodbye to Jörg Hasford only 4 years later.

In 1984, Jörg Hasford was entrusted by his chief Karl Überla to supervise the statistics of the South German Hemoblastosis Group study on chronic myeloid leukemia, a leukemia with an inevitably fatal outcome at that time. It was the first controlled CML study in Germany, two-armed, with a simple design. It was considered the most boring study in the nation. 

Jörg Hasford was 33 years young at the time. Many aspiring scientists in his situation would have tried to escape this project and sought a more rewarding field of work.  Not him!

Jörg Hasford took on this study in his careful and thorough way. He stayed with the CML and was rewarded. When the great successes came and CML became quasi curable in new studies, he was already there. Jörg Hasford represented the methodological part of the study work and kept my back free for the clinical study work by his competence and reliability. 

In 1993, Professor Sante Tura from Bologna, who was very renowned in Italy and internationally at that time, invited the most important representatives of the European CML study groups to Venice to the Hotel Danieli. The owner was his patient. He planned a European cooperation instead of unnecessarily wasting forces in competition. A companion was invited as well. While other study group leaders brought their wives as intended, I took Jörg Hasford with me. 

The European Investigators for CML developed into an active and powerful group in which Jörg Hasford participated with conviction and wholeheartedly. Thus, he has also followed the path from the national to the European level from the very beginning. In 1995, at the group's meeting in Edinburgh, he gave a spontaneous speech of thanks at the dinner, in which he acknowledged the successful European cooperation and expressed his gratitude for the friendships that had developed.

Incidentally, the tradition of inviting the wives along has been maintained in this group to this day, and that is how we met, dear Mrs. Hasford. So you also know many other members of the European CML Investigators and their partners and are part of the CML community.

Jörg Hasford was there when the German Competence Network for Acute and Chronic Leukemia was started and when the European LeukemiaNet was founded with the help of the German Leukemia Network and the European Investigators for CML. He was in charge of the European CML Registry of the EUTOS cooperation between European LeukemiaNet and Novartis. He was a cornerstone of CML research.

Even after his departure from CML studies, he remained loyal to the European Investigators for CML until the end. So today also the grieving European friends stand behind me when I say these farewell words. 

Life goes on without us and so does research. The young people who are now at the beginning will only know the name of Jörg Hasford from literature. And hopefully also from some stories and tales of the CML community about a scientist who had a friendly, calm nature, knew life from many sides, even the stormy ones, but loved it very much, enjoyed the cuisine of different countries and was open to their culture.

In his marriage with you, dear Mrs. Hasford, he was very happy. We are all happy for him that he was allowed to find this happiness.

Requiescat in pace. May he rest in peace.

Translated with (free version)