U2 guitarist performs in Sistine Chapel

U2's The Edge becomes first rock musician to play in Sistine Chapel.

U2 guitarist The Edge made history on 30 April when he became the first rock musician ever to perform in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, to raise awareness for cancer prevention.

The acoustic concert by the Irish musician, whose real name is Dave Evans, took place as part of a Vatican conference on regenerative medicine. Since 2007 The Edge has been on the board of the Angiogenesis Foundation, a non-profit medical organisation dedicated to promoting research into angiogenesis, a process involving the body's creation of new blood vessels.

The cause is close to the musician's heart: in 2006 his daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, subsequently overcoming the disease, while last month he lost his father to cancer.

Backed by a choir of seven Irish teenage singers, The Edge played a cover of Leonard Cohen's If It Be Your Will, as well as U2 songs Yahweh, Ordinary World and Walk On.

US vice president Joe Biden, whose 46-year-old son Beau died last year from brain cancer, told the Cellular Horizons conference on 29 April about the funding required for vital cancer research.

The event was organised by the US-based Stem for Life Foundation to share ideas and discuss ways of using adult stem cells to cure rare diseases.

Pope Francis was not among the audience which included some 200 doctors, researchers and philanthropists.