(Corrects headline of Nov. 18 story to make clear prize is world’s largest annual award, not world’s largest overall)

By Catarina Demony

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s Champalimaud Foundation announced on Monday last week the world’s largest annual prize, worth 1 million euros, for research and clinical practices aiming to control or eradicate cancer.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and it was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, according to the World Health Organisation.

“For more than a century cancer, more than any other disease, has occupied our thought and fears,” the foundation said.

“Despite growing knowledge on the biology of the disease and advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, deaths from cancer are continuing to rise in most countries.”

The foundation, which focuses on neuroscience and oncology research at its Lisbon base, was set up at the bequest of the industrialist Antonio Champalimaud who died in 2004.

Last year a prize was awarded to seven scientists in the United States and Britain who came up with a revolutionary gene therapy cure for a rare genetic form of childhood blindness.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Sergio Goncalves and Alison Williams)