Medical physicists converge at ProCure TDC for training in physics of protons and proton therapy

Medical physicists from around the world converged at the ProCure Training and Development Center (TDC) last week for intense training in the physics of protons and proton therapy, an alternative to X-ray radiation for cancer treatment that spares healthy tissue and results in far fewer short- and long-term treatment side effects.

“In addition to making proton therapy more accessible to the many who could benefit from it, ProCure is focused on advancing the field by educating and training treatment providers – from physicists to physicians to technicians”

The five-day graduate training course, presented by Harvard’s Bernard Gottschalk, Ph.D. , provided the foundation of techniques used to treat patients with proton therapy including single, double and slit scattering; lateral penumbra and ionization chambers. The fourth annual course at the TDC earned medical physicists and radiation therapy technologists 18.5 hours towards the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Program (CAMPEP) and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) continued education program.

"In addition to making proton therapy more accessible to the many who could benefit from it, ProCure is focused on advancing the field by educating and training treatment providers – from physicists to physicians to technicians,” said Niek Schreuder, ProCure's senior vice president of medical physics and technology. "Dr. Gottschalk is a pioneer in proton therapy physics and we were honored to have him here to share his expertise and look forward to hosting future sessions.”

Dr. Gottschalk started the nuclear physics research program at the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory (HCL) in 1955, obtained his Ph.D. in 1962, and remained as a postdoctoral fellow until 1965. After 16 years in experimental high energy particle research, he returned to HCL (then a medical facility) in 1981 and stayed there to work on the physics of proton radiotherapy, electronics and instrumentation, until HCL closed in 2002. Patient treatment and research continues today at the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center, Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard.

The TDC is the only dedicated proton therapy training facility in the world. It offers clinical, technical, interpersonal and administrative training that covers all aspects of proton therapy treatment and patient care. In addition to lecture rooms for instruction and training, the TDC features full-size treatment rooms equipped with state-of-the-art equipment - everything but the protons- to simulate the total work environment for treating patients.

In addition to the TDC, ProCure Treatment Center, Inc. (ProCure) is developing a network of proton therapy treatment facilities across the country. The ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City opened in July and construction is under way on a ProCure facility in suburban Chicago. Additional centers are in development in suburban Detroit, South Florida, Seattle and Somerset, New Jersey.

http://procure.com/
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