Advancements in the Optimization of Medical Accelerators

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image MedAustron copyright Thomas Kästenbauer
image MedAustron copyright Thomas Kästenbauer

The online magazine News Medical has recently published an interview with the Head of the Quasar Group, Prof Carsten P. Welsch.

In the interview, Prof Welsch explains the basic principles of proton beam therapy and the benefits of medical accelerator research to improve radiotherapy for patients. In particular, he reviews the success of the EU-funded Optimization of Medical Accelerators (OMA) project. Prof. Welsch says: “With OMA, we pulled a lot of the expertise that is available across Europe together and built bridges between clinical centres, research facilities where this treatment was pioneered, leading universities who produce innovative ideas, and companies that are specialised in providing these treatment facilities. In collaboration, we aimed to significantly improve treatment.

Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) such as OMA train around 15 very highly qualified Research Fellows on the same broad research area but with distinct, individual projects. The unique features of the ITNs are based on the idea of training postgraduate students by collaborating with the best partners across Europe and taking a cohort approach. Prof Welsch adds: “We've seen our 15 Fellows grow from excellent undergraduate students with little background in the area of medical applications, to become leading experts in their field over a period of just three years.” 

Finally, Prof Welsch expresses his view on the future of medical accelerator research and development: “Accelerators form the backbone of current research in all scientific disciplines. If I look at strategic roadmaps like the European Strategic Facilities Roadmap, then around 50% of future science infrastructures rely on accelerator technology, one way or another.

The whole interview can be found here: