ARTI, a plan for the Amsterdam Radiotherapy Institute


In 1965 the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) negotiates with the ministry of Science and Public Health, and with national organisations that coordinate the fields of healthcare and science. The subject of discussion is a reform of the management structure and the financing of research and healthcare in the NKI.  It is commonly agreed that the government shall make a contribution towards the yearly budget. However the NKI should not become a government institution, but remain a private institute with strong links to universities. 

In the framework of organisational changes it is discussed to set up an independent Amsterdam Radiotherapy Institute (ARTI). In view of the sharp increase in price of emerging new treatment technology like the linear accelerator, the idea was to establish an inter-university radiotherapy institute into which all radiotherapy facilities in Amsterdam would merge. Professor Klaas Breur is a strong supporter of these plans.  The ARTI would be established in a separate building annex to the new buildings of the Netherlands Cancer Institute on the Amsterdam-Slotervaart site.   

The name of the foreseen radiotherapy institute, ARTI, reminds many people of the famous Amsterdam Society for artists and art lovers, Arti at Amicitiae (for art and friendship), which is often simply called Arti. That was probably the intention of Klaas Breur, who wanted to emphasize the high level of work. 

The inter-university radiation institute was not realized. The Netherlands Cancer Institute, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Free University all built their own radiotherapy department. In 2013, discussions on cooperation are topical again. No institute can cope alone with the high costs for equipment and the high level of research. The NKI will probably merge with the oncology research and radiotherapy clinic of the University of Utrecht. According to plan, there will be a second location of the NKI in Utrecht. There is also the intention to establish a Proton Treatment Center on the site of the NKI, as a cooperation between the Free University, the Academic Medical Centre of the UvA and the NKI.