Budapest, Hungary

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

  • Nicole Eder-Nesvacil, Physicist, Medizinische Universität Wien, Vienna (AT)
  • 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)
  • Mark Rivard, Physicist, Brown University, Providence (USA)

Local Organiser

  • Tibor Major, Medical Physicist, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest (HU)

Guest lecturer

  • Gabriel Paiva Fonseca, Physicist, Maastricht University, Maastricht (NL)

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, and self-assessment questionnaire (multiple choice and open-ended questions).

To follow


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 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.


Váci út 1-3., 1062 Budapest, Hungary

T: +36 1 288 5551            M: +36 70 967 6634

Reservations can be made via the following link until the 27th of September 2024:


ESTRO members can order products at substantially reduced prices. To benefit from the member registration rate, you must subscribe for the ESTRO membership 2024 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


  800 EUR

 900 EUR

ESTRO Members

  625 EUR 

 775 EUR

In-training members*

  475 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.

Access to homework and/or course material will become available upon receipt of full payment.

Insurance and cancellation

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

For any cancellation made by the course or workshop participant, ESTRO School Events Cancellation Policy will be followed and all stated penalty fees will be applied. 

In the unlikely event that ESTRO would need to cancel the event, ESTRO will reimburse the participants in full for the registration fee. ESTRO will not refund any travel and accommodation expenses.

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, for this teaching course, all specialties from the following countries can benefit from this preferential rate: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, 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

conditions below are met:

  1. Only ESTRO members for 2024 are eligible (please make sure your 2024 membership is in order before you click on the BOOK NOW button)
  2. The application is submitted 3 months before the course start date.
  3. Only one course per person per year can be subsidized by ESTRO
  4. Sponsored candidates are not entitled to reduced fees (the invoicing address has to be the one of the participant)  
  5. The are limited spaces available for each course in the price category. Places are granted on “first come first serve” basis.