Psycho-oncology, or psychosocial oncology, de®ned as the science of the interaction between somatic, social and psychological processes, in respect of the origin and course of oncological diseases, celebrated its tenth anniversary in 1998. It took some time to establish itself as a science in its own right before it was accepted as a member (an ocial ``Arbeitsgemeinschaft'') of the German Cancer Society (DKG/PSO). Progress in this ®eld, in terms of theory and practice, has been presented to experts and the public, since then in regular conferences (Schwarz and Zettl 1991; Schwarz et al. 1991, 1993, 1995). The most notable ®ndings of the ®rst few years of psycho-oncology derived from a project, funded by the Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology, entitled The Rehabilitation of Cancer Patients, and the results were reported at this year's conference by U. Koch (Hamburg). As the time was ripe to consider quality management and quality assurance in this ®eld (Koch and Weis 1998), these became the main topics of this conference.