ESTRO was founded in 1980 by five young, visionary specialists - Klaas Breur, Jerzy Einhorn, Michael Peckham, Maurice Tubiana and Emmanuel van der Schueren.

The dream was to establish radiation oncology as an independent specialty through a separate society uniting all disciplines involved: clinical, physics, biology and technology.

The purpose of ESTRO was and remains to foster radiotherapy in all its aspects by setting standards in education and practice, facilitating research, stimulating exchange of scientific knowledge and promoting collaboration in radiotherapy in Europe and beyond as well as with other professions involved in cancer treatment.

To give the society a solid base, a scientific platform was created. As of 1982, an annual congress of high scientific quality was organised and one year later, the Green Journal was launched to disseminate the research in radiotherapy. A third priority of the ESTRO founders was to establish an educational structure to address the significant lack of dedicated training in radiation oncology in many parts of Europe.

Throughout the following years, ESTRO built up a strong interdisciplinary platform, offering a variety of meetings and workshops, comprehensive education through the well-known ESTRO School, multiple journals to publish new scientific results and strong engagements with a large number of (radiation) oncology societies, corporate partners and patient /or advocacy groups. All professionals and stakeholders involved in the discipline have their voice in ESTRO and contribute to activities to implement its vision. This led to the inevitable expansion of ESTRO becoming a reference network for professionals in oncology Europe and beyond

A more detailed history of ESTRO’s first 30 years can be found in ‘Three decades of ESTRO; a vision for cancer cure’, which can be downloaded here.