College Park, Maryland -- April 3, 2009 -- Proton therapy has been hailed as a revolutionary cancer treatment, with higher cure rates and fewer side effects than traditional X-ray photon radiotherapy. Proton therapy is the modality of choice for treating certain small tumors of the eye, head, head or neck. It is also safer -- especially for young children -- because it exposes less of the tissue surrounding a tumor to the dosage, proton therapy lowers the risk of secondary cancers later in life.
What does the scientific evidence show about proton therapy? With the rapid proliferation of proton facilities in the United States, what will current and future practitioners of proton radiotherapy need to know?
Now a panel of researchers, clinicians, and public health experts will debate the promise and perils of proton radiotherapy -- a 70-year-old idea that bridges medicine and particle physics. Spearheaded by the AAPM Science Council and sponsored by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), "A Symposium on the Promise and Perils of Proton Radiotherapy" takes place from May 8 to 9 at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore in Maryland. For full details, visit http://www.aapm.org/meetings/09PRS/.
At the symposium, international experts will discuss issues such as current clinical practice, 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.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SYMPOSIUM
"On paper, proton therapy undoubtedly has theoretical advantages but there are many uncertainties involved when we deliver the radiation to the patient," says Dr. Jatinder Palta of University of Florida Health Science Center in Gainesville, who will chair a session considering these difficulties. While better imaging technologies have improved the aiming of proton beams, irregularities in body or the movements of internal organs can still throw off this targeting, causing unintended damage. The consequences of this damage and new schemes to avoid it will be considered.
ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM
"A Symposium on the Promise and Perils of Proton Radiotherapy" is organized the by Science Council of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) to inform current and future practitioners of proton radiotherapy. The symposium will be begin with breakfast at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8, and continue until 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 9. All sessions will take place in the Calvert Ballroom of the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore in Maryland. For a full list of speakers and the scientific program, visit http://www.aapm.org/meetings/09PRS/MeetingProgramInfo.asp.
|Contact: Devin Powell|
American Institute of Physics