About ASTRO

A Historical Timeline

Years Description
December 1955 First meeting of the American Branch of International Radiotherapy Club at Barney’s Market Club in Chicago in association with annual RSNA meeting. Eleven members were in attendance.
December 1956 Second annual meeting of American Branch of ICR in Chicago at the Palmer House in Chicago.
June 1957 Spring meeting of American and Canadian radiotherapists in Quebec in conjunction with annual meeting of American Radium Society (ARS).
November 1957 Third annual meeting of American Branch of ICR in Chicago. Twenty-four members were in attendance.
March 1957 Spring meeting of 40 American radiotherapists in Hollywood Beach, Fla., in conjunction with annual meeting of ARS. Discussions held.
October 1958 Founder’s Agreement for American Club of Therapeutic Radiologists developed in Washington by Juan del Regato, Milford Schultz and James Nickson.
November 1958 First official meeting of American Club of Therapeutic Radiologists (ACTR) in Chicago. There were 92 founding members, 60 of whom were in attendance. Simeon Cantril was elected to be the first president of the organization. This was the largest meeting of American radiotherapists to date. Membership was limited to physicians who practiced radiotherapy 100% of their professional time.
April 1959 ACTR meets in Hot Springs, Va., and holds its first scientific session, “The Training of Therapuetic Radiologists.” Membership total for ACTR during its inaugural 1958-1959 year was 111 physicians.
November 1959 Second scientific session of ACTR held during annual RSNA meeting with emphasis on radiotherapy equipment needed for hospitals with over 700 beds. Speakers included Franx Buschke, Jesshill Love, Jean Bouchard and Milford Schulz.
1959-1962 ACTR presidents included James Carpender (1959-1960), Milton Friedman (1960-1961) and Manuel Garcia (1961-62).
May 1960 Research meeting for therapeutic radiology held in Carmel, Calif.
November 1960 Younger members of ACTR (including Herman Suit, Malcolm Bagshaw, Melvin Griem and William Powers) begin lunch meetings at the annual RSNA meeting.
December 1960 ACTR addresses education of members in training at annual meeting. A multidisciplinary model of education (which would include surgery, pathology, physics and radiobiology) was adopted by the Club. At this time, 15 institutions in the United States offered post-graduate training focused solely on radiotherapy.
1960s NCI creates Committee for Radiation Therapy Studies (CRTS), first chaired by Gilbert Fletcher. Later renamed Committee for Radiation Oncology Studies (CROS).
April 1965 Executive committee of ACTR votes to add members to Society leadership and change the committee’s name to Board of Directors.
April 1966 ASTR membership grows to over 250 physicians. Juan del Regato leads reorganization of ACTR as a professional society: American Society of Therapeutic Radiologists. Associate member status added for radiobiologists, radiation physicists, nuclear medicine specialists and pathologists. Corresponding membership category created for therapeutic radiologists practicing internationally.
1968 Simon Kramer named first chairman of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), now NRG Oncology. RTOG receives NCI funding in 1971.
July 1968 Committee on Education and Training created and charged with “concerning itself with all matters pertaining to academic radiotherapy, standards of training, accreditation, and certification.” At this time, 59 institutions offered training in dedicated to radiotherapy.
1970 ASTR membership grows to 300 members.
November 1970 The first independent scientific meeting dedicated to therapeutic radiology held in Scottsdale, Ariz., with attendance of 308 people. Up until now, radiotherapy meetings had been scheduled in conjunction with the annual RSNA meeting.
1971 Second annual independent meeting of ASTR held in Scottsdale, Ariz. The medical journal Cancer, published by the American Cancer Society, is selected as the official journal of ASTR.
December 1971 President Nixon signs National Cancer Act into law, which appropriates additional $100 million to cancer research in the United States.
1972 Third annual independent scientific meeting of ASTR held at Biltmore in Scottsdale, Ariz., which included a presentation by Maurice Lenz on his experience at the Foundation Curie in the 1930s. The annual meeting in 1972 is often cited as a seminal moment in the development of ASTR.
The number of residents in radiotherapy increases to 244.
Luther Brady sworn in as president of ASTR.
ASTR organization provided office space and staff by the American College of Radiology.
1973 ASTR membership doubles to 600 members, partially fueled by the increased number of physicians trained solely in radiotherapy. 
A coin toss determines that Phillip Rubin would be the first editor of the Red Journal while Luther Brady and Carlos Perez would publish the first textbook dedicated to radiation oncology, Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology.
1974 The International Journal of Radiation Oncology ● Biology ● Physics (Red Journal) published for the first time.
NCI awards grant to American College of Radiology to conduct the Patterns of Care Study, which is conducted through ASTR and RTOG in Philadelphia.
ASTR membership increases to 966 members.
October 1975 Parallel scientific sessions begin to be held at annual ASTR meetings due to the number of high-quality abstracts submitted for presentation each year.
ASTR has 15 standing committees.
October 1976 Postgraduate refresher course offered at the annual ACTR meeting.
1977 ASTR awards its first gold medals to Juan del Regato, Henry Kaplan and Gilbert Fletcher.
An educational film entitled Radiation: The Cancer Fighter is produced and distributed to improve public understanding of radiation therapy.
ACTR moves headquarters to newly opened ACR office in Philadelphia.
November 1977 ASTR officially opposes reimbursement regulations proposed by the Health Resources Administration that would have penalized institutions involved in training and research. This is one of the first health policy advocacy events for ASTR.
October 1978 Full membership to ASTR granted to radiobiologists and physicists.
Full membership in ACTR officially passes 1,000 members
1979 ASTR membership grows to 1,400 total members (including 100 associate members)
1981 Herman Suit is named president of ACTR
1982 ASTR works with RTOG to organize an international meeting in Houston on scientific progress in the physics and engineering of particle beam development.
ASTR assists with preparation of Reader’s Digest article titled “The Invisible Cancer Cure,” which described the benefits of radiation therapy to over 100 million readers worldwide.
ASTR revamps the Society newsletter. The redesigned publication production is moved from Chicago to the Philadelphia office and includes “Washington Whispers” to detail complexities of government regulations affecting radiation oncology.
1983 ASTR Board of Directors votes to officially change the name of the organization to American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
1984 The Red Journal becomes the official scientific publication of ASTRO.
“Meet the Professor” luncheon officially held for first time at ASTRO annual meeting.
November 1986 ASTRO advocates for and persuades ACR to change the title of physicians practicing radiotherapy from “therapeutic radiologists” to “radiation oncologists.”
1987 ASTRO president Jim Cox introduces ASTRO fellowships to support the practice of academic radiation oncology.
1990 ASTRO membership grows to 2,000.
1991 Plenary session held for the first time at the Annual Meeting under the direction of ASTRO president Sarah Donaldson.
1992 ASTRO Annual Meeting size grows beyond the capacity of a hotel and is held in the San Diego Convention Center for the first time. Annual Meetings would be held in convention centers for all subsequent meetings.
Jim Cox is named as second editor-in-chief of the Red Journal.
1993 ASTRO membership grows to 2,800.
A document defining the roles of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons and physicists is developed between ASTRO and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons under the leadership of David Larson.
1994 ASTRO renews its commitment to the Red Journal as the official scientific publication of the Society.
A small meetings format is implemented, enabling topic-specific meetings to occur throughout the year in addition to ASTRO’s Annual Meeting each fall. Topics included quality assurance, image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), radiobiology and translational research.
1995 In conjunction with the 100-year anniversary of the X-ray, ASTRO hosts a major historical lecture as part of the Annual Meeting.
Jay Harris institutes a presidential categorical course at the Annual Meeting.
1997 Government Relations Committee formed.
1998 Frank Malouff is named to succeed Nick Croce as executive administrator of ASTRO.
Under the leadership of Frank Wilson and Frank Malouff, ASTRO amicably separates from ACR and moves its headquarters to Fairfax, Va.
www.astro.org introduced by Brian Goldsmith and Prabhakar Tripuraneni.
The Socioeconomic Luncheon is held for the first time.
ASTRO membership exceeds 5,800.
1999 Sessions dedicated to radiation oncology nursing established at ASTRO’s Annual Meeting.
ASTRO’s professional staff increases from four to 17 people.
2000 Attendance at the Annual Meeting approaches 8,000 individuals.
2001 First eLearning session held at the Annual Meeting.
2002 Laura Thevenot named new executive director of ASTRO
2003 Survivor Circle for patients and patient support organizations instituted at the Annual Meeting.
2004 Professional staff dedicated to health policy and government relations developed within ASTRO. The annual ASTRO Advocacy Day is developed for ASTRO membership.
2005 Joint meetings are held with Radiation Research Society (RRS) and American Association of Women Radiologists (AAWR) at the Annual Meeting.
Disparities session is hosted by NCI at the Annual Meeting.
2006 The ASTRO Fellow (FASTRO) designation is created and awarded to the first class of 75 ASTRO Fellows with over 20 years membership within the Society.
Several sessions from the Annual Meeting are translated into Spanish for the first time.
2007 The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is formed by ASTRO Board of Directors and introduced to the ASTRO membership in 2009.
The ASTRO website is redesigned to include an enhanced meetings section, education portal, Job Placement Center and press room.
2008 ASTRO celebrates 50th anniversary and publishes the book “ASTRO: A Celebration of 50 Years."
January 2009 ASTRO changes its name to the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
2010 Anthony Zietman is named as third editor-in-chief of the Red Journal. W. Robert Lee is named editor-in-chief of Practical Radiation Oncology (PRO).
2011 The first issue of Practical Radiation Oncology (PRO) was published.
2014 ASTRO launches Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx).
2015 Robert C. Miller is named editor-in-chief of Advances in Radiation Oncology. First papers are published online in Advance in Radiation Oncology.
2016 ASTRO moves its headquarters to Crystal City, Va.

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