At any personal level, be it in relation to family, society, national, or global organizations, an awareness of origins – to know when one came -is essential to an understanding of where one now stands, and the past informs the future.
Knowledge of their roots helps present and future generations to build their own identity and acquire a sense of responsibility for carrying the torch into the dark ahead. The quality of the root story is,however, important; if distinguished, one gains in dignity and self appreciation. The authors of this brief history believe this applies to the story of SIOP, the International Society of Pediatric Oncology, which soon will reach its 50th birthday. In those decades that bridged the present and last centuries, it has participated actively in the upward march of Medicine that has marked those stirring years. SIOP members and others should be made fully aware of the role SIOP has played in improving the outlook for children with cancer and their families, and therefore, in bettering the general welfare.
Those who have been actively involved in the early years of pediatric oncology share a profound sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
They look back on what has been achieved in the demanding fight to defeat cancer in the children of the world. At the same time, they recognize much remains to be done, and pass on this record of the past so it can illuminate the years to come.
Moreover, it is both noteworthy and a source of great pride that this work has been conducted through the harmonious and close cooperation of physicians, nurses, parents, and scientists working shoulder to shoulder in all the nations of the world. This history is their story. In the pages that follow, it will become clear that SIOP is a truly international and multidisciplinary association dedicated to the well-being of children everywhere.
University of Padua
President of SIOP (2014–2016)