ESTRO course, Lisbon

av Lucilio Matias, 12 - 17 september 2015

I wish to thank Radiumhemmets Forskningsfonder for its support on cancer research and training courses and for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Basic treatment planning course which took place in Portugal, Lisbon, from 12 to 17th of September.

The course was enriched with a variety of useful exercises relevant for the clinic but also research. Very well experienced oncologists, medical physicists and radiographers showed the outmost importance of good planning in radiation therapy (RT). At the venue, the participants were given the possibility to increase their knowledge with treatment planning systems (TPS) used at their home clinics while at the same time given the chance to play with novel TPS. This provided the occasion to explore and differentiate particular features of the TPS made available by the vendors.

One of the highest moments for me was to see the feedback of our work after practical exercises. This turned out to be productive, especially for participants like me, who did not have extensive knowledge on treatment planning.

One of the gains of the course is that I got more knowledgeable of the challenges associated with external beam radiation therapy (ebrt) planning, which is an important therapeutic modality for many spread diseases e.g. in lymph nodes. This is very significant for my field of research, brachytherapy (bt), as most of the time bt is added to ebrt.

In summary the course was very relevant for beginners as well as for experienced personnel who wanted to solidify their knowledge in basic treatment planning with photons, which is the main radiation type given in clinics around the world. The exercises provided during the course dealt with different regions of the human body, including head and neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. The multidisciplinary team provided an environment to explore the different facets of treatment planning, including different perspectives on treatment planning and research.