Athens, Greece

Advanced Physics for Brachytherapy

Seeking to advance your expertise in brachytherapy physics? The Advanced Physics for Brachytherapy course provides a modern update on the clinical standard-of-care and an in depth look into the scientific foundation necessary to qualify as a brachytherapy physics expert in practice and research.

The course is primarily designed for medical physicists interested in expanding their knowledge in the field of brachytherapy physics. A basic background in the sub-specialty is required, as supported by (preferably) at least one year of experience in clinical practice, or participation in a relevant course (such as the Comprehensive and Practical Brachytherapy teaching course). The course could also serve as a refresher or an interactive update on recent developments in the field of brachytherapy for senior medical physicists.

Course directors

  • Dimos Baltas, Physicist, University of Freiburg, Freiburg (DE)
  • Panagiotis Papagiannis, Physicist, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens (GR)


  • Luc Beaulieu, Physicist, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Québec (CA)
  • Åsa Carlsson Tedgren, Physicist, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm (SE)
  • Nicole Nesvacil, Physicist, Medizinische Universität Wien, Vienna (AT)
  • Mark Rivard, Physicist, Brown University, Providence (USA)

Local Organiser

  • Efi Koutsouveli, Physicist, Hygeia Hospital, Athens (GR)

The course aims to:

  • Expand on the physics background of recent developments in conventional and contemporary dosimetry methods in modern brachytherapy (computational and experimental)
  • Provide a detailed review of modern 3D treatment planning techniques and prescription concepts including: imaging, anatomy segmentation and source localisation methods, optimisation methods and strategies, treatment plan evaluation, the need for quality assurance, and concepts of risk assessment
  • Provide an overview of essential quality assurance aspects, in vivo dosimetry, treatment verification techniques and associated recent developments
  • Review available knowledge on uncertainties and their clinical impact in modern brachytherapy
  • Offer an overview of upcoming technological advancements in implantation and treatment delivery.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Define a QA-programme for 3D image-based brachytherapy treatment planning
  • Identify and understand the benefits and limitations of alternative 3D dose calculation algorithms
  • Identify the benefits and limitations of using inverse optimisation and planning technology in specific disease sites
  • Identify the need for, and implement, a verification process for specific brachytherapy treatment techniques
  • Delineate the relative importance of different sources of uncertainty for specific brachytherapy applications.


Course content

This is a 3,5-day course organised to attain a high level of understanding of the physics background of brachytherapy delivery and its technical aspects.

The following items will be covered:

3D Imaging and localisation in brachytherapy:

  • Overview of 3D imaging modalities and techniques for brachytherapy
  • Tissue segmentation and characterisation using 3D imaging
  • Catheter/applicator and source localization using 3D imaging
  • Demands on QA of 3D imaging
  • Practical session on 3D image-based localisation methods (U/S, CT, MR).


Advanced 3D dose calculation:

  • TG43: essentials and limitations
  • Monte Carlo simulation based dosimetry
  • The grid-based Boltzmann equation solver algorithm (Acuros)
  • The collapsed cone superposition algorithm (ACE)
  • Commissioning of 3D algorithms beyond TG43 in clinical practice
  • Practical session on evaluating alternative 3D dose calculation algorithms.


Dose optimisation, evaluation, prescription and reporting:

  • Optimisation and inverse planning
  • Dose plan evaluation
  • Prescription and reporting
  • Practical session on optimisation, prescription and evaluation.


Experimental methods and dosimetry:

  • Calibration of source ionizing radiation output
  • Experimental dosimetry in brachytherapy
  • Treatment delivery verification
  • In vivo dosimetry.


Uncertainties and quality management:

  • Uncertainties and their clinical impact in brachytherapy
  • Quality management.


Outlook to expected technological advancements.



  • An understanding of basic concepts and methods of image-based treatment planning in brachytherapy
  • A basic understanding of computational and experimental dosimetry methods in the brachytherapy energy regime
  • Familiarisation with recommendations and guidelines for the most common brachytherapy applications (gynaecological, prostate, breast, head and neck).


Teaching methods

Lectures, open discussion, practical sessions (including hands on).



Methods of assessment

Interaction during practical sessions, open discussion, self-assessment questionnaire (multiple choice and open-ended questions).

Draft programme available here

Key words

Brachytherapy, imaging, segmentation, localisation, dosimetry, treatment planning, TG43, Monte Carlo, grid based Boltzmann equation solver Acuros, collapsed cone ACE, commissioning, optimisation, inverse planning, dose prescription, dose reporting, verification, in vivo, QA, uncertainty, quality management.



Application for CME recognition will be submitted to the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME), an institution of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). EACCME credits are recognized by the American Medical Association towards the Physician’s Recognition Award (PRA). Information on the status of the applications can be obtained from the ESTRO office.


Application for CDP credits has been submitted to the European Board for Accreditation in Medical Physics (EBAMP). Information on the status of the application can be obtained from the ESTRO office.


Titania Hotel Athens

52, Panepistimiou Ave.

106 78 Athens


All reservations for accomodation in the hotel should be send to mentioning the name of the course.



ESTRO members can order products at substantially reduced prices. To benefit from the member registration rate, you must subscribe for the ESTRO membership 2022 BEFORE registering to the course. To become an ESTRO member, benefit from the member registration rate and discover the many other member advantages, please visit the membership page.



Early rate

Late rate


  750 EUR

 850 EUR

ESTRO Members

  600 EUR 

 725 EUR

In-training members*

  450 EUR

 625 EUR

* Members with specialty RadiationTherapist (RTT) may register at the In-Training fee

Early rates are applied up to three months before the starting date of the course.

Late rates are applied three months before the starting date of the course.

The fee includes the course material, coffees, lunches, and the social event.

Advance registration & payment are required.

Since the number of participants is limited, late registrants are advised to contact the ESTRO office before payment, to inquire about availability of places. Access to homework and/or course material will become available upon receipt of full payment.

Insurance and cancellation

The organiser does not accept liability for individual medical, travel or personal insurance. Participants are strongly advised to take out their own personal insurance policies.   

In case an unforeseen event would force ESTRO to cancel the meeting, the Society will reimburse the participants fully the registration fees. ESTRO will not be responsible for the refund of travel and accommodation costs.

In case of cancellation, full refund of the registration fee minus 15% for administrative costs may be obtained up to three months before the course and 50% of the fee up to one month before the course. No refund will be made if the cancellation request is postmarked less than one month before the start of the course.

Reduced fees

Members from emerging countries may register at a preferential rate of 350 Euro. Emerging country fee applies to individuals from low-income and lower-middle-income economies according to the World Bank listing here.

Additionally, all specialties from the following countries can benefit from this preferential rate: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine.  In addition, medical physicists from Cyprus can email to apply for this fee.

The preferential rate of 350 Euro is granted automatically when you click on the  BOOK NOW  button and the three conditions below are met:

  1. Only ESTRO members for 2022 are eligible (please make sure your 2022 membership is in order before you click on the BOOK NOW  button)
  2. Only one course per person per year can be subsidized by ESTRO
  3. Sponsored candidates are not entitled to reduced fees (the invoicing address has to be the one of the participant)  

 Please note:

  • We can only guarantee a certain number of reduced fees per course
  • Application deadlines are the same as early registration fees (3 months before the course date).