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AVL Radiotherapy Timeline

Prof. Dr. Jacob Rotgans

105 years radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Prelude

1851 1913

Prof.dr. Jacob Rotgans, Rector of the University of Amsterdam

The 19th century gave birth to professional science. Research and practice in medicine advanced in a revolutionary pace. In 1907, inspired by the advances abroad, the Amsterdam University rector and surgeon Professor Jacob Rotgans makes a plea for a national comprehensive cancer centre in The Netherlands.

In scientia salus: Healing by science
prof. Jakob Rotgans
Pasfoto Dr G. F. Gaarenstroom

105 years radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Pioneering

1913 1925

Dr. Gerard Frans Gaarenstroom

Radiologist Gerard Frans Gaarenstroom is a Dutch pioneer in radiotherapy since 1913. He is the first head of radiotherapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute from the start in 1915 until 1922.

groping and searching ... step by step we will have to pave our way in this field of science...
Frans Gaarenstroom
Dr. Daniël den Hoed

105 years radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Science

1925 1940

Dr. Daniel den Hoed

Dr. Daniel den Hoed is head of the Department of Radiotherapy from 1925 until 1940. Under his leadership, the scientific foundations of radiotherapy are established. The focus of his work is on research in the fields of anatomy, dosimetry, radiobiology and the development of equipment.

about malignant pharyngeal tumours treated in the NKI 1916-1932
Betty Levie
Dr. Willem Wassink

105 years radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: War time

1940 1945

Dr Willem Wassink

Dr. Willem F. Wassink is the leading surgeon and head of clinic from 1921 to 1953. He is closely involved in the development of radiotherapy and works on this together with Daniel den Hoed. During WW II, he manages the Department of Radiotherapy and conducts radium treatments.

Is any such thing practical, or is it mere Utopian idealism?
Professor Ralston Paterson
Dr. Henri Lokkerbol

105 years Radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Rebuilding

1945 1964

Dr. Henri Lokkerbol

Dr. Henri Lokkerbol is head of the Department of Radiotherapy from 1945 to 1964. As a recently graduated radiologist he faces the task of rebuilding the department following the decline in WW II. With the support of Professor Ralston Paterson from Manchester, Henri Lokkerbol introduces modern radiotherapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

"The annual report 1951-1952 is evidence of intensive preparations for revolutionary developments in radiology in the NKI"
Riet van der Heide
Prof. Dr. Klaas Breur

105 years Radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Teamwork

1964 1980

Prof. Dr. Klaas Breur

Professor Klaas Breur is head of Radiotherapy from 1964 to 1980. He is also appointed university professor in radiotherapy, the first in The Netherlands. Under his rule radiotherapy develops strongly through multidisciplinary team work and radiobiological research. Breur dies in 1981.


105 years Radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Expansion

1980 2007

Prof. Dr. Harry Bartelink

As from 1981 Dr Harry Bartelink manages the research in the Department of Radiotherapy. In 1985 he is appointed head of the department (research) next to Jan Bangert. From 1989 to 2007 Bartelink is general head of the department. Under his leadership the department expands strongly and achieves a leading position in research and development. Bartelink is professor in clinical experimental radiotherapy.


105 years Radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: Perspectives

2007 2013

Prof. Dr. Marcel Verheij

Marcel Verheij is head of the Department of Radiotherapy from 2007 to 2018. In 1990 he was first engaged in the AVL as research physician. In 1996 he obtaines his doctorate with credits, with a thesis on apoptosis by irradiation. In 2000 he is appointed as radiation oncologist and researcher in the NKI. Besides, from 2004 he is professor in translational radiotherapy at the Free University in Amsterdam. In 2018 Verheij leaves the NKI to be appointed head of Radiotherapy in de Radboud University Hospital in Nijmegen (NL)


105 years Radiotherapy Netherlands Cancer Institute: The next step

2019 2029

Prof. Dr. Corrie Marijnen

Corrie Marijnen is Head of Radiotherapy in the NKI from 1 march 2019. She was trained as radiation oncologist in the Leiden University Medical Centre LUMC from 1994 to 1999. She took her doctors degree with Credit in 2002. From 2005 to 2008 she was a staf member in Radiotherapy in the NKI. In 2009 she was appointed Head of Radiotherapy in the LUMC. From 2015 she was also Head of Radiotherapy in the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft. She is closely involved with the Holland Proton Treatment Centre in Delft and in connection with that she has been appointed Medical Delta Professor in 2016.


Show by theme

2013 NKI Logo Eng

Netherlands Cancer Institute Radiotherapy from 1913 to present day.

Discover the history of radiotherapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute. A chronological review from the early treatment by a steaming X-ray tube to the precision of personalised design in image guided radiotherapy.

The historical review devides into 9 characteristical periods in which a leading physician embarks on a new course.

Prelude  1851-1913    Prof. dr. Jacob Rotgans
Pioneering years  1913-1925    Dr. Frans Gaarenstroom
The scientific basis  1925-1940    Dr. Daniël den Hoed
Second World War  1940-1945    Dr. Willem Wassink
Rebuilding  1945-1964    Dr. Henri Lokkerbol
Multidisciplinary Teamwork  1964-1980    Prof. dr. Klaas Breur
Expansion and Innovation  1980-2007    Prof. dr. Harry Bartelink
Modern Perspectives  2007-2018     Prof. dr. Marcel Verheij
The Next Step  2019-present    Prof. dr. Corrie Marijnen

Left-click-hold and mouse-slide the viewbox along the timeline at the top of the screen. Watch the illustrated timeline move fast as you slide to a period.   Mouse-grab and slide the illustrated items to browse.


Click next or previous, or use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move in time or to the next  item.  Double click items to open.

Below the timeline is a brief biography of the chief radiotherapist in the selected period.


Focus your search bij selecting one of the Theme-filters under the Theme button. This will activate only the items that match your selection. 

Or use the search option, which is in the black banner at the bottom of the screen. Find more usefull links in this black banner.