Barcelona, Spain

Particle Therapy

You may know your ions from your protons, but do you know the difference between active and passive beam delivery technology? Or the radiobiological, physical or clinical rationale for proton and carbon ion therapy? The course covers all this, as well as reviewing the current evidence for particle therapy, the status of clinical trials and the latest technological developments in this novel and important form of radiation treatment.

The course is aimed at radiation oncologists, medical physicists and professionals in allied fields, including trainees interested in particle therapy. Basic knowledge of radiation oncology and radiation physics are prerequisites. The course targets individuals who are either directly involved in a clinical particle therapy project, already practice particle therapy, or who desire to update their knowledge on particle therapy.

Course directors

  • Marco Krengli, Radiation Oncologist, University of Padua & Istituto Oncologico Veneto, Padua, (IT)
  • Tony Lomax, Medical Physicist, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen & ETH Zurich (CH)


  • Dirk De Ruysscher, Radiation Oncologist/ Radiotherapist, MAASTRO Clinic, Maastricht (NL)
  • Piero Fossati, Radiation Oncologist, MedAustron, Wiener Neustadt (AT)
  • Semi Harrabi, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg (DE)
  • Silvia Molinelli, Medical Physicist, Fondazione CNAO, Pavia (IT)
  • Marco Schwarz, Medical Physicist, University of Washington, Seattle (USA)
  • Beate Timmermann, Radiation Oncologist, Klinik für Partikeltherapie, Universitätsklinikum, Essen (DE)

Local organiser

  • Nuria Jornet, Medical Physicist, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
  • Carles Gomà, Project Manager Protontherapy, Catalan Health Service, Government of Catalonia
  • Gemma Sancho, Radiation Oncologist, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

The course aims to:

  • Provide a detailed overview of the clinical rationale and indications of particle therapy, and the status of supporting medical evidence including status of clinical trials
  • Make understandable the distinguishing features of particle therapy compared to other radiotherapy modalities
  • Deepen knowledge of physical, biological, and technical aspects of particle therapy implementation in clinical practice
  • Describe and explain particle treatment systems, dosimetry, treatment delivery, treatment planning and articulate the latest technological developments in particle therapy
  • Share challenges of particle centre projects in different health care environments

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Understand the radiobiological, physical and clinical rationale for particle therapy
  • Have a basic understanding of accelerator technology, current equipment and the practical complexities of building a particle centre
  • Understand the differences between active and passive beam delivery technology, and details of treatment planning, specifically of intensity modulated therapy and motion management
  • Know the clinical rationale for proton and carbon ion therapy, the current indications and clinical practice according to various disease sites
  • Know the current clinical evidence for particle therapy, and the status of clinical trials
  • Have a general understanding of the integration of particle therapy in general radiation oncology
  • Summarise the latest technical developments
  • Have some knowledge of future directions in the research and development of particle therapy

Course Content

Physics and biology: image guidance techniques, dosimetry and quality assurance

  • Physical aspects of particle therapy
  • Ion source accelerator, beam line and beam delivery technology
  • Passive and active delivery
  • Biological aspects of particle therapy
  • RBE determination, biophysical modelling plan optimisation

Medical Physics: image guidance techniques, dosimetry and quality assurance

  • Imaging for treatment planning
  • Treatment planning for proton and carbon ion therapy
  • Plan evaluation, robustness, quality assurance
  • Intensity-modulated particle therapy and image-guided particle therapy.
  • Physical and technical approaches to the treatment of moving organs.

Clinical indications, anti-cancer effects, toxicity, challenges and limitations of particle therapy

  • Clinical challenges and pitfalls of proton and carbon ion therapy
  • Current clinical indications and applications for proton and carbon ion therapy also in combination with systemic treatments, according to pathological and anatomical disease characteristics
  • Clinical case reviews and discussions, review of clinical trials
  • New trends in radiation oncology and integration of particle therapy
  • Future clinical directions and developments.

Roadmap for a particle therapy project

  • How to build a new particle therapy facility – from project planning to starting clinical operation
  • New technologies for hospital based particle centres
  • How to expand an existing radiotherapy department with particle therapy.

Protocol and journal club about latest clinical and physics developments.


Before commencing this course, participants should:

  • Have a basic understanding of radiobiology and radiation physics
  • Know the basics of radiotherapy and radiotherapy planning
  • Have a general understanding about the evaluation of medical evidence

Teaching Methods

Interactive lectures, tutorials, journal club, case reviews and discussions

Methods of Assessment

  • MCQ
  • Evaluation form


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 recognised 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.

The final programme is available here.


Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Sala d’Actes – 3rd floor

Entrance located at the corner of c/ Mas Casanovas and c/ Sant Quinti

Carrer De Sant Quintí, 89, 08041 Barcelona, Spain, 08041, Barcelona


Participants are free to book a hotel room in the vicinity of the course venue.  No arrangements have been made with hotels by ESTRO.



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


  850 EUR

 950 EUR

ESTRO Members

  675 EUR 

 825 EUR

In-training members*

  525 EUR

 675 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.