QUASARs present their work at EPSM
The annual EPSM ‘Engineering & Physical Sciences in Medicine’ conference was held at the end of last month from 29-31st October in Adelaide, Australia. This national meeting is one of the major events for medical physicists, biomedical engineers, researchers, medical professionals and others in the field within Australasia. This year’s theme was ‘Science Fusion: Innovation through Diversity’, touching upon the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration for progress in the industry. The scientific talks covered many areas; radiobiology, medical imaging, radiation protection, modelling, nuclear medicine, dosimetry, radiotherapy, hadron therapy nanoparticles, treatment planning as well as informational sessions such as publication writing and education. Both international and national speakers were invited to give keynote speeches, including Prof. Harald Paganetti from Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School who presented on RBE of proton therapy. The highlight on particle therapy was especially welcomed as it was only recently announced that Australia is finally due to establish a proton therapy facility , the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy in Adelaide, just down the road from the conference venue. This will be the first in Australia and is due to start treatments in 2022.
QUASAR Group member Jacinta Yap gave a talk during the hadron therapy session on “Monte Carlo modelling of the Clatterbridge Eye Proton Therapy beam line”. She presented recent modelling work and experimental results contributing to the development and optimisation of the VELO standalone beam monitor for the Clatterbridge beamline. This involved a study of the beam dynamics and validation measurements in order to improve upon and verify the current Clatterbridge Geant4 model. This is essential for simulations to benchmark the VELO module measurements of the proton beam halo and for correlation with the total dose delivered.
QUASARs Roland Schnuerer and Thomas Primidis also presented their works as e-posters at this conference. Roland presented his accompanying work on the VELO monitor “Validation of a non-invasive beam monitor at a 60 MeV proton therapy beamline”. Thomas presented work performed in collaboration with Adaptix Ltd “Optimisation of multiple-source X-ray imaging systems with Monte Carlo methods”.
Following EPSM, there was also a one day Particle Therapy Workshop held at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute organised by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine. Chaired by Dr. Scott Penfold, enlightening talks were delivered by experienced professionals in the field covering all aspects of clinical particle therapy. These also provided a nice overview of the current progress, plans and trajectory of particle therapy in Australia. The workshop and conference was a great opportunity for Jacinta to return home to Australia, to not only learn more and share her research but also to be able to network and interact with the Australasian medical physics community.
 Penfold, S. A positive move: proton therapy in Australia. Australas. Phys. Eng. Sci. Med. 2018, 41, 1–2, doi:10.1007/s13246-018-0621-3.