Advanced Physics for Brachytherapy

Athens, Greece

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.

[ Early deadline: 1 July 2020 ]

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)

Teachers

  • Dimos Baltas, Physicist, University of Freiburg, Freiburg (DE)
  • 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)
  • Panagiotis Papagiannis, Physicist, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens (GR)
  • Mark Rivard, Physicist, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston (USA)

Local Organiser

  • Efi Koutsouveli, Physicist, Hygeia Hospital, Athens 

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, optimization 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:

  • In-depth understanding of 3D imaging role in modern brachytherapy
  • 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
  • Define a QA-programme for 3D imagebased brachytherapy treatmentplanning
  • 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 imaging 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.

Prerequisites

  • Knowledge of the TG-43 dose calculation methodology and its implementationi n your planning system
  • 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).

Programme

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.

Accreditation

Application for CPD recognition is submitted to the European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP), as a CPD event for medical physicists.

Venue

Titania Hotel
Panepistimiou 52
Athens 10678 - Greece
Tel: +30 210 33 26 000

Accommodation

Participants can book single rooms at the Titania Hotel, - see https://www.titania.gr/  

Price changes from legislation are borne by the ultimate consumer.

Membership

ESTRO members can order products at substantially reduced prices. Please note that in order to benefit from the member price, you must renew your membership for 2020 before registering to the course.To benefit from these member rates, please visit the membership page to become a member or renew your membership BEFORE proceeding with your order.

Fees

 

Early rate

Late rate

In-training members*   450 EUR  625 EUR
Members   600 EUR   725 EUR
Non Members   750 EUR  850 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.


On-site registration will not be available.

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

ESTRO members from economically challenged countries may register at a preferential rate of 350 Euro if three conditions are met:

  1. Only ESTRO members for 2020 are eligible (please make sure your 2020 membership is in order before you apply for the reduced fees)
  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

List of Economically challenged countries and eligible courses