It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Dr. Professor Dezső Schuler, Professor Emeritus of the II. Department of Paediatrics at the Semmelweis University (Budapest, Hungary). He passed away on 9th of September 2020, in his 93rd year of life.
Dr. Dezső Schuler began his medical studies directly after World War II. He was a doctor of paediatrics of the Clinic for Paediatrics located at Tűzoltó Street for sixty-six years. His scientific career started under the leadership of an academician dr. Géza Petényi in 1954.
Dr. Dezső Schuler was appointed professor at the Semmelweis University of Medicine (Budapest, Hungary) in 1975, and between 1976 and 1994 he was the director of the II. Department of Paediatrics at the Semmelweis University. From 1976 to 1997 he was also the Director of the National Institute of Paediatrics. In the 1980s, he was the president of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP).
Dr. Dezső Schuler founded the national Hungarian Children’s Oncology Network in 1971, with treatment centers in Szombathely, Pécs, Szeged, Debrecen, Miskolc and Budapest. In 1973 he established the National Paediatric Tumour Register.
“When I was at the beginning of my practise, we were helpless against leukaemia, everyone died, nothing could be done. I couldn’t stand the fact that every patient had to die. I found this unacceptable. There are always new cures, drugs, methods. I thought we had to fight because there is no success without a battle! I lost a lot of battles, very much at first, less and less later. Then the first medication used for the therapy of leukaemia appeared and I started to cure the children with them. Professor Petényi was very patient, he let me try. I will never forget the first cured child with leukaemia – it happened in 1966, it was an incredible feeling. From then on, the children recovered, with various medications achieving a recovery rate of 80 percent and then 94 percent.”
“Dezső Schuler, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, is one of the pioneering European pediatric oncologists. He was SIOP President from 1984 to 1985, and very active in advancing pediatric oncology in his country and central Europe through uniform standards of training and multimodal therapy.”
In 1989, he founded the Őrzők Foundation (Guardians Public Benefit Foundation for Children with Cancer and Leukaemia).
His professional work was acknowledged by János Bókay Memorial Medal (1979), László Batthyány-Strattmann Award (1994), Elek Fényes Memorial Medal (1998), Sanofi Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), József Eötvös-koszorú Award (2005) and the Széchenyi Award (2008).
We keep his memory forever. Rest in peace.