Brachytherapy Training Course

The training course sponsored by the IAEA was held from 14 to 18 November in Vienna Austria.  The course was attended by 30 students; participants from 22 countries. The purpose of the course was to provide participants with resources to enhance radiation protection and safety in clinical applications of brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy is an important tool in the treatment of cancer. The equipment and procedures have evolved since the first brachytherapy procedure was performed soon after the discovery of radium by Pierre and Marie Curie in 1898. Today’s technology is more complex with many users upgrading to remote after loaders that reduce radiation worker exposure. However, ICRP has identified over 500 incidents including one death reported just from the use of high-dose rate brachytherapy.  

The training program included training on significant events and errors in brachytherapy, the safety systems that should be in place in brachytherapy, safety culture, prevention of errors, and what to do if an event happens.  Participants also toured the AKH Hospital, Medical University of Vienna Brachytherapy Centre where medical physicists provided information on the safety systems they have in place to prevent medical errors.

International experts in the field of brachytherapy supported by American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the American Brachytherapy Society, the European Society of Radiation Oncology, and the International Society of Radiographers and Radiologic Technologists. We have also received the support for the training from the French Regulatory Authority and European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry (COCIR).

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