Some historical data on radiotherapy

1895: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in Würzburg (Germany) discovers X-rays.

1895: First therapeutic attempt to treat a local relapse of breast carcinoma by Emil Grubbe (Chicago)

1896: Discovery of natural radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in Paris

1896: First use of X-Rays for stomach cancer by Victor Despeignes (Lyon - France)

1896: Irradiation of a skin tumour in a 4-year-old by Léopold Freund (Vienna - Austria)

1897: Thomson identifies the electrons for creating X-Rays

1898: Discovery of radium by Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris

1899: First real proof of cure by X -Rays ( two pictures taken at an interval of 30 years)

1901: First therapeutic use of radium for skin 'brachytherapy' by Dr Danlos (Hôpital Saint-Louis - Paris)

1903: First scientific description of the effect of radiotherapy on lymphoma nodes (Drs Senn et Pusey)

1904: First treaty on radiotherapy by Joseph Belot in Paris

1905: Discovery of the sensitivity of seminoma to X-Ray by Antoine Béclère in Paris

1913: Institut du Radium by Marie Curie-Sklodowska and Claudius Regaud

1915The atomic model by Ernest Rutherford (Cambridge - UK) : radioactive active desintegration - Development of RX tubes

1920: Structuration of French Radiotherapy by Marie Curie-Sklodowska: Institut du Radium

1921: Foundation of the Institut du Cancer in Villejuif (Institut 'Gustave Roussy' - who was a pathologist) with the brachytherapy unit of Jean Pierquin, Georges Richard and Simone Laborde.

1930: Institut Curie works on fractionation (Claudius Regaud, Henri Coutard, Antoine Lacassagne).

1932: Discovery of neutrons by Sir James Chadwick (Cambridge UK)

1934: Death of Marie Curie from pernicious anaemia (myelodysplasia)

1934: Discovery of artificial radio-elements by Irène andFrédéric Joliot-Curie (Paris)

1934: Publication of 23% cure rate in head and neck cancer by X-Rays ( Dr Henri Coutard - Institut Curie)

1936: François Baclesse (Institut Curie) begins his work on conservative treatmen of breast cancer

1948: first ZOE nuclear reactor (Frédéric Joliot) : produtions of artificial radioelements

1951: First cobalt installation (Victoria Hospital - London - Ontario)

1952: First linear accelerator (Henry S. Kaplan in Stanford - California)

1960: The 'Paris system' for brachytherapy with afterloading (Bernard Pierquin)

1973: Scanner invention par G.N. Hounsfeld (UK)

1990: First use of scanner and computers for IMRT

2000: One in two cured cancer patients owes his/her recovery, at least partly to radiotherapy

Access to main chapter