ASCO was founded in 1964 by a small group of physician members of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) who recognized the need for the creation of a separate society dedicated to issues unique to clinical oncology.
Below, explore highlights of ASCO's past through a series of in-depth articles. You can also experience the history of the Society through video vignettes from the people who believed in ASCO from the beginning and learn about ASCO's Founders and Past Presidents.
History Article Series
- The Journal of Clinical Oncology (September 18, 2008): This article chronicles the 21-year history of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the Society's flagship publication and the foremost peer-reviewed journal in the field.
- Developing the First Scientific Meeting (April 1, 2005): This article examines the decision to develop a scientific oncology meeting with a clinical focus and the planning process for what would become the Society's first Annual Meeting.
- ASCO's Transition to Self-Management (January 1, 2005): This article examines the establishment of ASCO Headquarters and the Society's growth from a volunteer-based professional organization to a fully staffed, internationally recognized authority on clinical oncology.
- Creating the ASCO Brand (July 1, 2004): This article examines how the Society's now familiar name was once a matter of spirited debate among its founding members -- a notion that might seem puzzling to current members.
- The ASCO Annual Meeting (April 1, 2004): This article examines how, In 1964, Harry Bisel, MD, ASCO's first President, recommended that "One full day … be held annually for scientific meetings." The breadth and scope ASCO's Annual Meeting now would have seemed unimaginable to the Society's founders.
- ASCO's Founders Shared Vision for Future of Cancer Treatment (January 1, 2004): This article examines how Arnoldus Goudsmit, MD, PhD, and the rest of ASCO's founders helped create a blueprint for the future of cancer care.
- Exploring ASCO's Roots (October 27, 2003): This article examines the founding principles of ASCO, as set forth in the Society's first organizational meeting back in 1964.