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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995 Oct 15;33(3):747-54.

Evolution and accomplishments of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) recently completed its first quarter century as a cooperative clinical cancer research organization. It is timely and appropriate to document its origins, evolution, and accomplishments.


The historical review of the RTOG called upon written and oral documentation.


The RTOG is the most enduring product of the Committee for Radiation Therapy Studies (CRTS). Although not one of the original 17 clinical trials groups developed by the National Cancer Institute in 1956, the RTOG has pursued trials suggested by laboratory findings including the oxygen effect, intrinsic radiosensitivity, proliferation kinetics of normal and tumor cells, and interactions with other cytotoxic agents. Improvements in survival have been demonstrated for patients with carcinoma of the esophagus and cervix, and nonsmall cell carcinomas of the lung. The national and international radiation oncology communities have benefitted from standards and quality control/assurance guidelines for established and new modalities. A growing number of institutions in North America participate in RTOG trials.


The RTOG is an important clinical research resource, which has contributed to improved outcome for patients with many forms of cancer. It has become increasingly productive and widely adopted and endorsed by oncologists throughout North America.

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