The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) broke a record this year by registering more than 10,000 attendees for its 43rd annual scientific meeting held in San Francisco Nov. 4-8, 2001. ASTRO Chairman David A. Larson, M.D., Ph.D., announced the record amid cheers from exhibitors and society members at the Moscone Convention Center yesterday.

This marks the sixth straight attendance record for ASTRO’s annual meeting, which has doubled in size since 1995. In 2000, ASTRO was recognized as one of the fastest growing professional meetings by Medical Meetings magazine. Of the 10,115 registrants for the 2001 meeting, more than 2000 of the attendees registered for the meeting on site. The attendees included 1,375 international participants from 55 foreign nations.

The scientific portion of the meeting was led by more than 300 speakers and faculty members. The technical exhibits were represented by 218 companies that filled more than 100,000 net square feet of space in the Moscone Center.

ASTRO represents physicians and other health professionals who treat cancer and benign diseases with radiation therapies. The society’s members include physicians, medical physicists, cancer biologists, oncology nurses and other health professionals. ASTRO currently represents about 95 percent of the radiation oncologists in the United States and a growing number of radiation physicians from around the world.

“In these uncertain times, I am honored that so many of my colleagues chose to come to San Francisco to demonstrate our commitment to our patients and to maintaining our scientific and clinical priorities,” Dr. Larson said. Dr. Larson is a radiation oncologist at the University of California San Francisco specializing in stereotactic radiosurgery.

“The dedicated professionals who came to our meeting clearly demonstrate that the possibility of saving lives and improving the lives of countless patients made the risk of travel and separation from families worthwhile,” said Frank Malouff, Executive Director of ASTRO.