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Program Information

Program Information

New for the 2014 Program:

  • John R. Cameron Young Investigator Symposium will take place on Monday, July 21.
  • President’s Symposium and Innovation in Medical Physics – will take place on Tuesday, July 22.
  • Special 2-Day Program on Quantitative Imaging (Monday - Tuesday, July 21-22).
  • The Science Council Session – The Physics of Cancer (see below).
  • In addition to Symposia and regular Sessions, new Keynote Sessions on topics of special interest.
  • Joint scientific symposium with the World Molecular Imaging Society.
  • Joint scientific symposium with ESTRO – Imaging for Proton Therapy.
  • Major expansion of SAMS offerings in Education, Professional, Practical, and Scientific Programs.
  • Expanded meeting program from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm.
  • Interactive Hands On Question Writing Workshop (see below)
  • Partners in Solutions – an exciting new venue on the exhibit floor (see below).

The following topics will be offered during the meeting:

Special 2-Day Program on Quantitative Imaging

A Quantitative Imaging (QI) Track has been developed for the 2014 Annual Meeting.  A total of 11 hours for QI symposia and scientific sessions has been allocated as one of the parallel session options on Monday and Tuesday.  Modality-specific and multi-modality QI abstract submission categories have been developed for the meeting, so please consider submitting relevant abstracts in these new categories.   Given the heightened awareness of the need for, and the tremendous potential benefits of, QI in both diagnostic and therapy settings, these new sessions should be very interesting and exciting.

Interactive Hands On Question Writing Workshop - Sponsored by the American Board of Radiology

This workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23 • 7:30am - 9:30am - A limited number of tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are at no cost. Each participant will be required to submit three draft questions by June 15th. Failure to submit the mandatory draft questions for this session will result in cancellation of your ticket.

This workshop is designed to improve the question writing skills of anyone who writes questions.  This would include teachers, writers of AAPM on-line questions and others.  It is not aimed for or limited to question writers for the ABR. The session will consist of brief introductory lectures on how to write good questions.  This will be followed by small group editing of questions submitted by the participants.  ABR editors and trustees will be on hand to help each group with their problem items.

Imaging Track

The 2014 Imaging Track explores both near- and far-term directions of medical physics research and innovation. These directions include: Estimating risk for low radiation doses, virtual validation tools for x-ray breast imaging systems, as well as advanced imaging methods for breast cancer. Additional topics include advances in models of image quality, nanotechnology & molecular imaging, and multi modal imaging for therapy response. These sessions will explore the state of the art and also show some of the directions that our scientific envelopes are being pushed towards.

Therapy Track

The 2014 Therapy Track will showcase the current hot topics in therapy with a focus on medical physics research and innovation. Symposia will include thefollowing general topics: biomedical informatics for medical physicists; uncertainties in radiation therapy; the relative biological effectiveness of proton beams relative to photon beams; nanoparticles to improve treatment outcome; status of intensity modulated proton/ion therapy; a debate to measure or not to measure in patient specific QA; and an exciting live demo with interactive audience participation (ala Texas Holdem Poker) of adaptive radiotherapy implementation by commercial vendors.

Joint Imaging-Therapy Track

The 2014 Joint Imaging-Therapy Track will feature exciting topics highlighting the collaborative efforts between imaging and therapy medical physics. This track will include the following topics: innovations in medical physics and engineering; highlight of ASTRO/NCI workshop on research opportunities in technology; AAPM spotlight in World Molecular Imaging Conference; MR-guided radiation therapy, the promise and potential pitfalls of deformable image registration; dual-energy CT imaging in diagnostic and radiation therapy, and a new forum featuring European physicists’ view on imaging needs in proton therapy.

Educational Course - Imaging Track

The 2014 Imaging Education Track will feature a total of seventeen educational sessions including six SAM sessions. The program will again be focused on meeting the continuing education requirements of our membership at various stages of professional development. This year course content will be balanced to cover innovations in various areas of diagnostic imaging, ACR accreditation updates across different imaging modalities, best practice in pediatric imaging, radiation dose reduction strategy, and radiation risk associated with medical imaging. Continuing the tradition begun last year on the “art” of diagnostic imaging artifacts, this year the session will be on diagnostic ultrasound imaging artifacts. Joint with the special 2-day Quantitative Imaging (QI) Symposium, there will be a session on “genomics and radiomics for medical physicists”.

Educational Course - Therapy Track

The Therapy Physics CE series will feature a total of 31.5 hours of educational lectures. The program is designed to address the broad educational needs of our membership and will include topics in SRS, SBRT, IGRT, IMRT, VMAT, QA and safety, brachytherapy, proton therapies as well as radiobiology. The emphasis of the program will be on safe and effective use of new technologies addressing current issues in clinical practice. The program will feature at least seven SAM sessions distributed throughout the entire meeting program. Several new sessions have been introduced, including: ‘TG100 – The Big Roll Out’, ‘Multimodality 4D Imaging for Radiation Therapy’, “Basics of Proton Therapy and Proton SRS”, “Radiation Biology for the Therapy Physicist”, and “TG132 – QA for Image Registration”. Several other popular subjects such as Small Field Dosimetry, Imaging Quality, and Brachytherapy will also be presented.

Continuing the tradition begun last year, there will be a live point-counter point debate; this year the merits and limitations of Arc-based/VMAT therapy will be the focus. The debate will be moderated by Colin Orton, theMedical Physicseditor of the Point-Counterpoint series. This year the debate format will also include relevant lectures to provide an instructive yet enlightening opportunity for audience participation.

Practical Medical Physics Track

The Practical Medical Physics Track offers presentations of use and interest to the practicing medical physicist.Topics for 2014 include: implementation of newly-published AAPM Task Group reports; 3D printing applications; informatics in imaging and radiation oncology; imaging review for therapy physicists; lean tools and methods; new methods of teaching physics to physicists and physicians; balancing dose and quality in imaging; effective presentation skills; and a hands-on, interactive workshop on writing questions.

Professional Track

The ProfessionalTrack continues to grow in depth and breadth to keep our members abreastof the latest professionally-relateddevelopments. Topics thisyear cover clinical, research, management and other aspects of our profession.New this year are sessions on interviewing skills and ABR preparation. We will have a session on communicating risk to providers and patients, giving real-world situations and how you might handle them. Since communication is central to what medical physicists do, several other sessions are also being plannedaroundvarious topics of communication, from writing journal articles to working with physicians. Plans are being made for at least one session to provide ACR RLI credit, and a SAMS session.TheProfessional Track will also have a proffered paper session in 2014.

Science Council Session

Topic: The Physics of Cancer

The Science Council Session includes proffered abstracts on a topic at the cutting-edge of medical physics research, presented in a special, high-visibility proffered oral session. For the 2014 Annual Meeting, the Scientific Program invites abstract submissions on “The Physics of Cancer,” emphasizing fundamental research in physical models and/or novel physical systems for measurement of cancer pathogenesis, progression, and response. Abstract submissions from investigators outside conventional domains of clinical medical physics are encouraged, especially research addressing cancer complexity – for example, the heterogeneity of patient response to cancer therapy, the optimization of treatment dose schedules, and/or the prediction of complex metastatic patterns. Example research includes:

  • Mathematical models of cancer – e.g., multi-scale models, Bayesian models, and game theory models seeking to predict tumor growth and/or treatment response.
  • Imaging and other biomarkers – e.g., radiomics / radio-genomics as measurements providing input parameters and/or testing and validation of such models.
  • Clinical data – e.g., multi-center clinical trials, retrospective studies, etc. to test the predictions of such models.

Criteria for abstract evaluation include the novelty of the research, the emphasis on fundamental physical sciences outside conventional domains of medical physics, and the potential impact / significance in cancer diagnosis or therapy.

Innovation in Medical Physics Education

The Education Council of the AAPM is sponsoring a session to honor and publicize Innovation in Medical Physics Education. AAPM members are invited to submit a description of innovative medical physics educational activities for radiology residents, radiation oncology residents, medical physicists, technologists or others. The abstract can be scientific research, novel teaching strategies – team teaching or adult learning efforts, novel educational materials – lectures, websites, or other innovations.

The top six submissions will be invited to present their abstracts at the session during the Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. Each speaker will be allocated 15 minutes. The top presenting abstract will be presented a plaque and a $2,000 prize. The Award for Innovation in Medical Physics Education made possible by a generous bequest of Harold Marcus.


Partners in Solutions offer a new way for physicists to interact with our vendors.  Vendors will provide physics-level applications training classes in a special-purpose lecture room built on the exhibit floor.  Topics this year are solutions for TG-142 imaging QA and CT scanner dose optimization capabilities.  These are not sales pitches but practical information for the clinical physicist from the people who know the system in depth.  CE credit will be offered.  Come learn with us!