[POSTPONED UNTIL 2022] Quantitative Methods in Radiation Oncology: Models, Trials and Clinical Outcomes

Florence, Italy





The course is aimed at physicians, medical physicists, biologists and radiation therapists (RTTs), including PhD students in all these fields.




Søren M. Bentzen, Biostatistician & Radiation Biologist, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Maryland (USA)



  • Ane Appelt, Medical Physicist, University of Leeds, Leeds (UK)
  • Marleen de Bruijne, Computer Scientist, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (NL)
  • Clifton D. Fuller, Radiation Oncologist, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (USA)
  • Johannes Langendijk, Radiation Oncologist, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen (NL)
  • Ivan R. Vogelius, Medical Physicist, University of Copenhagen-Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen (DK)



Lorenzo Livi, Radiation Oncologist, University of Florence, Florence (IT)


The aim of this course is to introduce the attendees to a range of quantitative methods that are frequently used in radiation oncology research and, in some cases, clinical decision support tool. Radiation oncology probably has the most solid quantitative foundation among medical specialties. As in other specialties, results of randomized controlled trials form the basis for evidence-based treatment guidelines; but in addition, prognostic and predictive models provide clinical decision support for individualized management of cases.


Radiation bioeffect models of Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) and Tumor Control Probability (TCP) have become much more refined since the publication of the QUANTEC overviews 10 years ago and are increasingly being used in treatment plan comparisons or selecting cases likely to benefit from proton therapy. New generations of such models are emerging with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) entering the scene for data aggregation, analysis and modeling.


While integration of quantitative estimates of various treatment outcomes is likely to improve patient care, it is also important to understand the limitations of model estimates and to be able to assess the validity or quality of a statistical data analysis or a mathematical model. Uncritical reliance on model results may compromise patient safety or treatment outcome or may take research down the wrong track.


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

  • Broadly describe the most commonly used quantitative methods in radiation oncology and radiation biology and the assumptions behind these;
  • Identify appropriate quantitative methods of analysis for a given data set;
  • Recognize the potential of artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning in radiation oncology;
  • Critically evaluate modelling results especially with respect to proper validation and estimates of uncertainties.



  • Models and modelling, hypothesis testing and parameter estimation, type I and II uncertainties
  • Clinical trials and evidence-based medicine, Phase 0, I, II, III, and IV trial designs, meta-analysis, clinical endpoints, survival statistics and the Cox Proportional Hazards Model
  • Statistical modelling and exploratory data analysis, external and internal validity of models, bootstrap and Monte Carlo methods, goodness of fit
  • Dose-response models, normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and tumor control probability (TCP) models, modelling combined modality therapy, patient-level risk factors, the linear-quadratic model and beyond, use of models in treatment planning
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning applications. Deep learning and Convolutional Neural Networks in image analysis.
  • Big data analytics and Data Science, wide and tall data sets, dimensionality reduction, data mining, over-fitting, training and validation sets, sample splitting.
  • Predictive assays, ROC curves and AUC, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value




No specific requirements are needed for attending this course although a broad familiarity with the principles of cancer medicine and radiation oncology is expected.

All lectures and discussion are in English.



The four-day course consists of 27 didactic 45-minute lectures, 4 half-hour interactive discussion sessions, a practical exercise (1.25 h), an interactive data analysis session (1.25 h) and a Meet-the-professor session where you can bring-your-own data analysis project and discuss one-on-one with faculty members (10-minute time slots, 1.25 h total time).



  • Course evaluation form
  • Self-assessment tools are integrated in some of the discussion sessions.



Data analysis, quantitative methods, bioeffect models, critical appraisal, evidence-based medicine, predictive oncology, clinical trials methodology, outcomes research, machine learning.



Please consult the ESTRO website page of this course for further information.



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.

Preliminary programme available here


Il Fuligno

Via Firenze, 48







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.



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