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Science Council Summary - A Symposium on the Promises and Perils of Proton Radiotherapy

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On-Line Evaluation System

(Available May 8 - June 8)


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Continuing Education Credits - Medical Physicists

This program has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc. (CAMPEP) for medical physics continuing education credits (MPCEC) to qualified medical physicists attending the Symposium.

Following the meeting and the close of the AAPM online evaluation system, AAPM will provide CAMPEP with participant contact information, credits earned, and the appropriate processing fees in order for individual participants to access their personal Symposium transcript via the CAMPEP online MPCEC Repository database. Registrants will be contacted with instructions for accessing the transcript via the CAMPEP website. The transcript will list a description of the sessions and the number of continuing education credits obtained.

Please be advised, CAMPEP transcripts are viewable via the CAMPEP online MPCEC Repository database. Participants will not receive a hardcopy CAMPEP transcript. Should a participant need a hardcopy of the Symposium transcript, an individual may order a hardcopy transcript from CAMPEP. View details here.

The AAPM Proton Symposium has been approved by the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board (MDCB) for ARRT Category A credits. Medical dosimetrist participants who complete a post-meeting evaluation will be provided with a transcript to self-report credits to the MDCB.

Participating Vendor Literature Tables

We wish to thank our participating vendors for their support of the Promises and Perils of Proton Radiotherapy Symposium.

Symposium Objective

The Science Council of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine is proud to announce a Symposium on the Promises and Perils of Proton Radiotherapy

May 8 – 9, 2009
Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore
Baltimore, MD


Target Audience: The program is aimed at radiation oncologists, medical physicists, biologists and health policy professionals.

The use of protons for radiation therapy offers theoretical advantages compared to external beam photon radiotherapy. Proton therapy enables lowering of the integral dose to the patient due to the finite range of protons. Protons also have a demonstrated advantage for treating small tumor volumes at shallow depths such as tumors of the eye and of the CNS such as chordomas and chondrosarcomas. Proton radiotherapy reduces the volume of normal tissue exposed to low doses, which is clinically significant with respect to the risk of second malignancies. This risk is notably more pronounced for younger patients than older ones, as younger patients are more at risk to future radiation induced cancers.

However, proton therapy is less tolerant than photon therapy to uncertainties in both treatment planning and treatment delivery. Tissue inhomogeneities, motion and mis-registration of the target volume with the radiation beams have far more severe consequences in proton therapy compared to photon therapy. If the target volumes are to be adequately irradiated, and adjacent OARs are to be protected in proton therapy, it is essential:

With the rapid proliferation of proton facilities in the United States, the Science Council of the AAPM put forth the need for a teaching symposium that would be informative for current and future practitioners of proton radiotherapy. International experts will discuss issues such as current clinical practice and machinery, future developments in delivery and planning, and operational startup and ongoing costs. Controversies related to planning and treatment uncertainties, the question of clinical trials, and biological questions such as RBE and secondary neutrons will also be presented.

At the end of this symposium, attendees will learn about the: