The San Salvatore Foundation was founded in Lugano on October 4th, 1979 by the will of the husband and wife Carlo and CĂ©lestine Pernsch, with the social mission to reward researchers, preferably resident in Switzerland, who attain positive results in research in the cure of malignant tumors. Secondarily, scientific research projects may also be financed. 

Without heirs, Carlo Pernsch and his wife decided to leave their substantial patrimony to a foundation that could contribute to the fight against cancer, a disease which had affected many members of their family. Thus the Foundation San Salvatore was born.

The organs of the San Salvatore Foundation are the Board of Directors and the Scientific Committee.

The Board of Directors, operating in the spirit of the wishes of the founders and the statute, and guided by the choices and recommendations of the Scientific Committee, has proceeded annually to grant awards to scientists  working on research to improve the treatment of cancer, who have achieved proven results.

The roll of honor of the award winners includes some of the most prestigious names of scientists and institutions who have stood out in research for cures for cancer from 1979 to today. At the same time significant financial contributions have been distributed to people and institutions active in basic and clinical research in the field of oncology, deserving financial aid.

The Scientific Committee considers progress in experimental research and in clinical research in the field of oncology. The Scientific Committee pays particular attention to basic research connected to the elaboration of new therapeutic strategies, the study of statistical methodologies for the evaluation of new drugs, research in the field of genetics in the area of tumors and tumor immunology.

Moreover, the Scientific Committee carefully assesses the developments in various sectors of therapy and affirmed treatments, like tumor chemotherapy, oncological surgery, radiology techniques, palliative cures and preventative and social medicine.