• Srpski

History of IORS and establishment of SSSO

The construction of the Institute for Oncology

Academician and professor Ksenofon Šahović was the founder of the modern oncology in Belgrade and the first Institute for Oncology (1939), built through numerous voluntary contributions of citizens, as well as Royal family, since HRM Queen Marija Karađorđević gave the biggest donation. The building foundations of the Institute were set in 1939 and consecrated on September 24 the same year. The name of todays Institute was "Zavod Kneza Pavla za izučavanje i lečenje raka" ("Prince Paul's Institute for the study and treatment of cancer"), and it functioned as a part of the Medical Faculty in Belgrade.

On April 6, 1941, Germany bombed Belgrade and a shelter nearby Karađorđev park was hit killing 122 citizens. The new Institute building was demolished over the main entrance as well. During the occupation, the building was rebuilt, but on Easter, April 16, 1944, the building was demolished again, this time by the Allied Forces bombing. During the two-year period (1947 to 1949), the building was renovated and expanded, becoming the home of, in addition to the Institute for Oncology, the First Internal Medicine Clinic, Institute of Balneology and Climatology, Institute for Occupational Diseases and Institute for Radiology.

Institute for Oncology had an experimental laboratory, laboratory for histopathology and surgical unit. The founder of the Institute, at that time the Head of Institute as well, professor Šahović followed the modern development in organization of the oncology departments in the world, therefore started organizing the clinical part of the Institute. First, he founded the Department of Surgery. In late 1949 and early 1950, dr Sava Simić, surgeon, Assistant Chief of First Surgical Clinic, was named Head of newly founded Department of Surgery.

Back in 1950, the Department had 45 beds. It was the first, and back then the only, anti-cancer center in our country. It was a pioneer project, followed by many difficulties and incomprehension. During the first few years, the Department was overloaded with incurable patients, because many doctors, out of ignorance, considered it the asylum and a place to house the dying of cancer. It is the merit of professor Simić and his back then assistants, that the Department of Surgery quickly developed characteristics of an institution truly specified in oncology. He has pioneered in a multidisciplinary approach to the patients’ treatment, introducing chemotherapy and radiotherapy in treatment of patients with primary surgical disease. He assessed specific methods for treatment of breast cancer and malignant tumors of gastrointestinal tract through clinical and scientific evaluation. The most frequent operations at the Department of Surgery at the Institute for Oncology were operations of breast tumors, tumors of rectum, thyroid, skin and malignant tumors of extremities. Operations were done in two operation rooms. Professor Simić was in charge of the Department of Surgery for whole 20 years.

The Anesthesiology Unit started just after foundation of the Surgery Department in 1950. Back at the time, they used only Ombredanne and Schimmelbusch masks, ether and chloroform. The Department of Anesthesiology was formed in 1961 and was managed by dr Jovan Pavlica, the first specialist of anesthesiology. Expanded by the Intensive Care Unit (1969), the Department grew into Clinical Department. In 1982, together with the Resuscitation Unit, it became the independent Department for Anesthesiology and Resuscitation of the Specialized Surgical Clinic of the Institute for Oncology. dr Milutin Planinšek was in charge of Anesthesiology and dr Nikola Jovanović of Resuscitation department. Following the progress in the field of medicine, the clinic started new diagnostic methods like rectoscopy and cystoscopy, and later on esophagoscopy and bronchoscopy.

In 1955, the Department of Surgery became the teaching base in surgery at Medical Faculty, with dr Dragoslav Milićević, dr Ljubiša Stambolović, dr Velja Mirković and dr Radmilo Tomin as first Assistant Professors. Later, dr Slobodan Nikolić and dr Milan Ostojić were named Assistant Professors as well. In that period, eight teachers and associates conducted complete teaching activity in surgical propedeutics and surgery for medical students at the Institute.

In 1969, the Department of Surgery grew into The Clinical Department of the Surgery (CDS). After Professor Simić’s retirement, the new Head of the CDS became Professor Ivo Popović Đani, who expanded and modernized the CDS, organized the Department of Thoracic Surgery, founded the Intensive Care Unit, improved the organization of work and focused on training the young doctors abroad. He nominated Radmila Tiodorović, educated in USA and once the Head nurse of the Mayo Clinic, as the Head nurse of the CDS. Professor Ivo Popović raised the level of expertise and contributed genuinely to the reputation of the institution.

Institute for Oncology and Central Oncology Clinic were merged on January 1970 and this new institution was named the “Ksenofon Šahović” Institute. It became main clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic center for malignant diseases in Serbia. Assistant Professor Milan Dragović, later Professor, worked with Professor Đani at Department for Oncology until 1971. After Professor Đani’s retirement in 1972, Docent (later Professor) Dragoslav Milićević became the new Head of Surgery. The same year, Professor Triva Litričin, replaced him at the position Head of Surgery, and managed this institution until 1978. Later that year, the Institute was reorganized into specialized Surgical Clinic, with dr Milan Putnik as Head Chief. Two years later, Professor dr Radmilo Tomin replaced him.

Due to practical reasons, in September 1979, the “Ksenofon Šahović” Institute, Clinical and Therapeutic Center of Serbia and Institute for Radiology separated from the Medical Faculty and merged into Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia. First Head Chief of the new Institute was Prim. dr Kuzman Granić, and his associates were Professor dr Miloš Bekerus, dr R. Ilić, Assistent Professor dr Slobodan Nikolić and Prim. dr Mladomir Pantelić. Professor dr Radmilo Tomin managed specialized Surgical Clinic from 1980 to 1983. Back then, the Clinic had 105 beds and department for Anesthesiology and Resuscitation, as well as out-patient clinic with four beds and Policlinic service. Therapeutic services “A” consisted of Breast tumors ward, Skin and soft tissue tumors ward and Surgical gynecology ward, with, in total, 48 beds. Professor dr Radmilo Tomin was the Head Chief. Therapeutic services “B” consisted of Breast and thyroid gland tumors ward and gastrointestinal ward, with, in total, 50 beds. Assistent Professor (later Professor) Slobodan Nikolić was the Head Chief.

The whole surgery training for medical students was performed by Professor dr Radmilo Tomin, Professor dr Slobodan Nikolić and Professor dr Milan Ostojić, as well as two Assistant Professors: dr Radan Džodić and dr Vladan Pošarac from 1982. Although gifted by extraordinary talent in education, dr Pošarac unfortunately stopped working at Medical Faculty, due to years of absence.

In 1994, due to its successful work, gathered experience through teamwork and council decisions, as well as latest diagnostic methods, the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia (IORS) became a referral institution for oncology health care in Serbia. In time, the IORS joined many international specialized organizations. In 1974, it became member of Melanoma Study Group, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and World Health Organization (WHO). In 1982, it joined European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). The IORS also became member of Union of Cancer Study Centers, European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO) and Russian Academy of Medical Sciences for Therapeutic Oncology (VONS), as well as European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO), European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) and Balkan Union of Oncology (BUON). The biggest contribution for international memberships in surgical oncology goes to Professor dr Radmilo Tomin and Professor dr Radan Džodić. The Doctors of the IORS become known and respected abroad.

From early 1994 to early 1995, the acting chief of Surgery Department is Prim. Dr sc. med. Drago Trninić. Since February 1995, Professor dr Radan Dzodić is the Head Chief of Surgery Department. He introduced new diagnostic methods in surgical oncology, new surgical procedures in preventive and curative surgery for cancer, metastatic disease surgery and reconstructive surgery, especially in breast cancer. Further, the curative surgery for thyroid carcinoma grew. New methods in prevention of severe surgical complications in thyroid carcinoma are introduced, as well as procedures on parathyroid glands. Surgical procedures on suprarenal and renal tumors combined with prior alcohol perfusion are renewed and the surgery of gastrointestinal tract is modernized. In first the first half of 2000, Prim. dr Aleksandar Janković was the acting chief of Surgery. From 2001 to 2010, Dr sc. med. Momčilo Inić was the Head chief of the Department of Surgery. In 2007, the Department of Surgery of the IORS grew into the Surgical Oncology Clinic within IORS. The present Head of the Clinic is ass. Mr sc. med. Srđan Nikolić. By mid-2013, the Head of the Clinic was assistent dr Srđan Nikolić. Currently, the Head of the Clinic is dr Vladan Pošarac, while Acting Director of the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia is profesor dr Radan Džodić.

Establishment od Serbian Society of Surgical Oncology (SSSO)

In 2003, Serbian Society of Surgical Oncology (SSSO) was founded at the Institute, with the goal to apply the science and practice in surgery of solid malignant tumors. The first president of SSSO was Dr sc. med. Momčilo Inić (in two terms) with Academician Professor dr Branimir Gudurić and Professor dr Radan Džodić as Vice Presidents.

Since December 2011, the president of SSSO is professor dr Radan Džodić, vice presidents: Dr sc. med. Momčilo Inić and Professor dr Andrija Golubović, general secretary: Docent dr Ivan Marković, secretary: Mr sc. med. Marko Buta, treasury: dr Igor Đurišić.

    During last 12 years 9 Symposia have been held with international participants::
  • Thyroid carcinomas (diagnostics and treatment)
  • Dissectional surgery
  • Breast cancer (diagnostics and treatment)
  • Soft tissue sarcomas (diagnostics and treatment)
  • Melanoma and upper abdomen parenhymatous organs treatment
  • Surgery of thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • Minimal breast cancer surgery
  • Cancer of the thyroid gland, guidelines for breast cancer, melanoma of the skin, palliative care in oncology and special lectures
  • Novelty in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer
    The special fields of work and interest of SSSO are:
  • To improve surgical procedures which could be used separately or in addition to other treatment modalities
  • To create curriculum, to train and educate surgical oncologist at all levels
  • To give directions and to organize clinical and laboratory research
  • To participate in other Oncology Societies in the country
  • To promote and organize multidisciplinary cooperation of specialists in different fields of oncology
  • To connect and cooperate with other Oncology Associations in the world ant to become their member

IORS and SSSO members are already educating surgeons from Serbia with the plan to became a educational centar for surgical oncology for the entire Balkan region.

SSSO became member of World Federation of Surgical Oncology Societies (WFSOS) and the member of European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) in 2012.

In november 2014, Professor dr Radan Džodić became the Vice President of WFSOS.

Modern structure of Surgical Oncology Clinic of the IORS

In the year 2007, Department of Surgery of the Institute grew into Surgical Oncology Clinic (SOC) within IORS (to the present time), with the Head of the Clinic Dr sc. med. Momčilo Inić. SOC is organized into the Department of Surgery, with 5 medical wards, and the Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, with two medical wards. There are five operating rooms equipped with modern machines and out-patient clinic. Intensive care unit has 11 patients’ beds. Per year, over 5000 surgical interventions are done at SOC. This refers to diagnostic, therapeutic, reconstructive and palliative breast tumors surgery, endocrine surgery (thyroid, parathyroid and suprarenal gland), skin, soft tissue and melanoma surgery, surgery of gastrointestinal tumors (stomach, small and large intestine, liver, spleen, kidney and retroperitoneum), surgery of tumors of gynecological localization (vulva, uterus, ovaries), head and neck surgery, lung tumors surgery etc. Also, number of reoperations due to recurrence of disease in all stated locations is respectable. There are several scientific research projects run by professor dr Radan Dzodić.


Surgical Oncology Clinic of IORS is the biggest Institution of its kind in Serbia. It has modern technical possibilities to perform contemporary teaching in surgical oncology. A proper education of students and doctors may improve diagnosis and survival rate significantly, since, excluding cardiovascular diseases, malignant diseases have the greatest mortality rate. It is mandatory to increase the number of teachers and associates at the Surgical Oncology Department of Medical Faculty, in specialist and subspecialist training, as well as in Clinical practices and First aid in the early years of medical studies. A comprehensive subject in Oncology is needed for serious medical students training in this field. Specialty in Surgical Oncology is the youngest, 19th specialty in growing number of European countries, yet to arise in Serbia. Surgical Oncology Clinic of IORS has all necessary technical and human resources for breakthrough of this aim.

Friends of the Society