MD Budapest 1944; DPhil Oxford 1950; FRCPath 1973.
Lajtha was born in Budapest on 25 May 1920, the son of the composer Laszlo Lajtha. He studied medicine at Budapest University Medical School where he was assistant to the professor of physiology from 1944 to 1946. Lajtha was a Hungarian resistance fighter and escaped imprisonment by the German SS in 1944. In 1946 Lajtha came to England as a British Council Scholar at Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. After gaining his DPhil at Oxford, Lajtha worked as a research assistant for the MRC at Churchill Hospital, Oxford, from 1951 to 1962, spending a year of that time at Yale University. On the retirement of the Patersons in 1962, Lajtha was appointed as the first full-time director of the research laboratories at Christie Hospital Manchester, which he named after the Patersons. He retired from this position in 1983. Lajtha was also reader in pathology at the University of Manchester, a position he held until 1970 when he was made professor of experimental oncology on the creation of the new University Teaching Hospital of South Manchester.
Lajtha was a member of MMS and a number of radiological societies. He was also on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including the British Journal of Cancer, of which he was chairman. Lajtha was on many committees, mostly relating to the treatment of cancer, in particular the Cancer Research Campaign, Manchester Committee on Cancer and the British Cancer Council. In 1979, Lajtha was elected president of the European Organisation for Research on Treatment of Cancer. This reflected his status as an international authority in the field. Lajtha died on 14 March 1995.