Aarhus, Denmark

Particle Therapy (Postponed to 2022)

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.

Celebrate with us the 15th anniversary of this course.

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 Piemonte Orientale & Centro Nazionale Adroterapia Oncologica (CNAO), Pavia, (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 Schippers, Medical Physicist, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen (CH)
  • Marco Schwarz, Medical Physicist, Proton Therapy Centre, Trento (IT)
  • Beate Timmermann, Radiation Oncologist, Klinik fu╠łr Partikeltherapie, Universit├Ątsklinikum, Essen (DE)

Local organiser

  • Morten Hoyer, Medical director, Aarhus University Hospital, DCPT, Aarhus

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.

Guided tour of particle therapy facility.


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, tour of the proton facility.

Methods of Assessment

  • MCQ
  • Evaluation form.



To follow

Key Words

Particle therapy, proton therapy, carbon ion therapy, radiotherapy