Educational Sessions Speakers
Opening Educational Lecture
Rationale for Particles and Future Outlook: Friday 4 June 2021, 10:15am UTC / GMT
Prof. Harald Paganetti PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harald Paganetti is a Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and Director of Physics Research for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his PhD in experimental nuclear physics in 1992 from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn, Germany. He has been working in radiation therapy research since 1994 and has made many significant contributions to the field of radiation oncology physics and biology. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and numerous book chapters and edited 3 books on proton radiation therapy. His main research interests include all aspects of planning and delivery uncertainties in radiation therapy, including biological effect modeling, Monte Carlo dose calculation, as well as advanced optimization and imaging techniques. His current work specifically focuses on optimizing proton therapy as well as understanding systemic effects of radiation treatments. In addition to his research, he serves on editorial boards and is a member of task-groups and committees for various associations such as the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
Physics Educational Sessions
Physics of Particle Beams: Friday 4 June 2021, 10:45am UTC / GMT
Hsiao-Ming Lu PhD
Hefei Ion Medical Center
Hsiao-Ming Lu, Ph.D. FAAPM, DABR, worked in the field of radiation therapy physics since 1993. In 2003, He joined the proton therapy physics group in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA and served as an Associate Professor and the Director of Clinical Physics for the department from 2009 to 2019. He returned to China in March, 2019 and is currently the Director of Physics at Hefei Ion Medical Center, Anhui Provincial Hospital, Director and Professor of Ion Medical Research Institute, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province, China.
Uncertainties (Physics + Clinical): Friday 4 June 2021, 11:10am UTC / GMT
Hakan Nystrom PhD
The Skandion Clinic, Uppsala
Håkan Nyström obtained his MSc at the University of Umeå, Sweden, followed by a PhD in Medical Physics in 1993. He worked as a medical physicist there until 1997 when he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked for 10 years as chief physicist at the radiotherapy clinic. His main research interest was in clinical implementation of new treatment technologies such as IMRT and breathing adapted radiotherapy. He was appointed Associate Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen 2006 – 2011. In 2007 he became the project leader of the Swedish proton therapy project where he subsequently worked as chief physicist and from 2015 when the proton clinic opened for patient treatments as head of the proton clinic. In 2017 he joined the Danish Particle Therapy Centre (DCPT) in Aarhus, Denmark as a senior medical physicist and in 2020 he worked as the medical physics team leader at the proton center in Groningen, The Netherlands. Presently Håkan Nyström is sharing his time with the Skandion Clinic in Uppsala, Sweden and in assisting other proton projects internationally. He is a co-chairman for WP5 of the European Network for Particle Therapy (EPTN), a Task Force within ESTRO and is a member of the steering committee of the PTCOG and its educational committee.
Modern Proton Treatment Planning: Friday 4 June 2021, 11:50am UTC / GMT
Dr. Mark Pankuch
North Western Medicine Chicago Proton Center
Mark Pankuch is currently the Director of Medical Physics at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center where he oversees medical physics related operations for the proton center and 4 nearby photon centers within the West and North regions of Northwestern Medicine. The proton center has been treating patents since 2010, with over 5000 patients treated thus far. Over the past several years, Dr. Pankuch has given numerous presentations on the topics of Proton Therapy at the local DOE labs, professional meetings, and vendor sponsored educational talks. He currently involved in research projects including funded collaborations in proton imaging. Dr. Pankuch is currently acting as the co-chair for the physics committee in the multi-institutional PCORI study randomizing protons vs. photon for stage 3 breast cancer. He also plays an active role in the Proton Collaborative Group and is currently acting as the physics chair. The NM Proton Center is one of very few centers that treats a portion of their proton patients in the seated position. The center has an in-room CT scanner that is capable of acquiring fan beam CT’s in the upright position. This “horizontal plane” scanner enables seated treatments to brain, ocular melanoma and thorax patients. A dedicated thoracic chair was development specifically for lung and mediastinal treatments. The NM proton center has observed the expected anatomical differences between supine and seated set-ups. Considerable dosimetric benefits are often obtained in the seated position for lung cancer patients.
Treatment Planning Dose Calculation Algorithms: Friday 4 June 2021, 12:15pm UTC / GMT
Prof. Chris Beltran PhD
Mayo Clinic Florida
Professor Chris Beltran is Chair of the Division of Medical Physics; Director: Particle Therapy Technical Operations; Professor of Medical Physics in the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine; and Consultant, Dept. of Radiation Oncology; Mayo Clinic Jacksonville FL. Prof. Beltran received his Ph.D. in Nuclear and Accelerator Physics from Indiana University in 2003. He completed his Medical Physics Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota in 2006 and subsequently accepted a position at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 2011 he rejoined Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to lead the proton treatment planning section for their new facility. In 2020 Prof. Beltran joined the team in Mayo Clinic Florida to help lead the new Carbon/Proton Therapy Facility in Jacksonville Florida. In the last several years, he has focused his clinical practice and research direction on particle therapy, with an emphasis on carbon therapy in the last few years. This includes clinical responsibilities such as commissioning the treatment planning system for our spot scanning proton facility and leading the proton treatment planning group. During that time, he also led the radiation oncology medical physics research group. This group consists of graduate students, medical physics residents, post-doctorate researchers, and faculty medical physicists. Prof. Beltran’s research lab has focused exclusively on particle therapy in the last few years with a focus on computational and translational biology.
Patient Alignment and Motion Management: Friday 4 June 2021, 12:40pm UTC / GMT
Niek Schreuder PhD
Leo Cancer Care
Niek Schreuder (PhD) is the Chief Scientific Officer for Leo Cancer Care. He is a board certified (DABR) medical physicist and fellow of the AAPM with significant experience in all aspects of radiotherapy. Niek is an expert in proton radiation therapy systems and has been involved in commissioning, training professionals and first treatments at nine proton therapy facilities and one neutron therapy facility over the past 31 years. He has been responsible for training and coordinating training for physicians, medical physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists for many radiation therapy facilities. Niek has held roles in management and medical physics at Provision Healthcare in Knoxville, TN ProCure Treatment Centers and the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI) in Bloomington, IN. He started his career in particle therapy as a medical physicist working at the radiation therapy facilities (neutron, proton and X-rays) at iThemba Labs in South Africa. His passion is developing new technologies to advance the field of radiation therapy to benefit cancer patients.
Machine & CT & TPS Commissioning and QA: Friday 4 June 2021, 1:05pm UTC / GMT
Dr Lei Dong
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Dong is a professor and the director of medical physics division at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. A nationally recognized expert in radiation therapy, Dr. Dong co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book chapters. He conducted innovative research and clinical development in image guided radiation therapy and proton therapy. He is a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). He served as a member of AAPM Science Council, the Physics Track Chair at the annual scientific meeting of American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). He is also a member of the education council for the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG).
Clinics Educational Sessions
Lung and other Thoracic Lesions: Friday 4 June 2021, 10:45am UTC / GMT
Dr. Charles Simone
New York Proton Center
Charles B. Simone, II, MD, FACRO is Research Professor and Chief Medical Officer of the New York Proton Center and Full Member in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is an internationally recognized expert in using proton therapy to treat thoracic malignancies and for reirradiation, and in developing clinical trials and innovative research in thoracic oncology and stereotactic body radiation therapy. Prior to coming to NYPC, Dr. Simone was Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Program, and Director of Clinical Research and Operations in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn. He was then appointed Medical Director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center, and at University of Maryland, he also served as Chair of the Clinical Research Committee for their Comprehensive Cancer Center, proton therapy Fellowship Director, and Director of the Stereotactic Radiation Therapy Program. He completed his undergraduate and medical school training at University of Pennsylvania and residency in radiation oncology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Simone is a National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense funded investigator who has published >390 scientific articles and chapters, given >245 scientific lectures to national/international audiences, and is the national Principal Investigator or Co-Chair of 7 NIH-funded cooperative group trials (4 NRG Oncology, 1 SWOG, 1 ECOG-ACRIN, 1 PCG). He is a three-time Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology Educator of the Year Award winner. Dr. Simone is the Proton Collaborative Group (PCG) Board President and Chairs the PCG Executive Committee and the PCG Lung Committee. He also Chairs the ASTRO Lung Resource Panel Committee and the NCI/Radiosurgery Society GRID-Lattice-Microbeam-Flash Radiotherapy Clinical Working Group. He is Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Palliative Medicine.
CNS and Base of Skull: Friday 4 June 2021, 11:10am UTC / GMT
Dr. Damien C. Weber
Center for Proton Therapy, PSI
Damien C. Weber received his medical degree. Doctorate and Privat Docent at the University of Geneva. He trained as a radiation oncologist and worked as a Research and Clinical Fellow at the Northeast Proton Therapy Center, Harvard Medical School. He is currently the Chairman of the Center for Proton Therapy, PSI since 2013 and has a faculty position at the University of Bern and Zurich. His domain of expertise is neuro-oncology and pediatrics. He is currently the co-founder of the European Particle Therapy Network, European Society of Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO). He is also a member of scientific committee of ESTRO and an active member in several other international societies (Scientific Association of Swiss Radiation Oncology SASRO and International Society for Pediatric Oncology SIOP). He is a member of the Publication Committee of the PTCOG
Pediatrics: Friday 4 June 2021, 11:50am UTC / GMT
Dr. Anita Mahajan
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Since February 2017, I have served as the Clinical Director of Particle Therapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Before that, I was at MD Anderson Cancer Center for 15 years where I gained knowledge and experience in patient care, education, and research. I served as the section head for pediatric and CNS radiation oncology service that was successful in clinical and basic research collaborations in both adult neuro-oncology and pediatric oncology. I have had a strong interest in particle therapy. We have a very active proton therapy program at Mayo Clinic and are in the process of launching a carbon therapy program. The goal is to identify and provide therapy for indications where proton and/or carbon therapy enhance patient outcomes. These efforts have required collaboration with other institutions and groups, development of research infrastructure and education for all stakeholders. I have been involved at the leadership level at particle therapy co-operative groups, both internationally and nationally that provide a venue to exchange new findings and a platform for education.
Re-Irradiation: Friday 4 June 2021, 12:10pm UTC / GMT
Dr. John Plastaras
John Plastaras, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine. He is the Chief of the Gastrointestinal and Hematologic Malignancies Service. His research program has focused on the use of proton therapy for gastrointestinal malignancies. He is also interested in the combination of immune therapies and radiation in the management of Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, including integrating radiotherapy into CAR T-cell therapy. He and his team at the Roberts Proton Therapy Center have developed and used pencil-beam scanned proton therapy for esophageal cancer, liver tumors, rectal and anal cancers. He was the principal investigator for a multi-site trial using proton therapy for re-irradiation. He has also used proton therapy combined with deep-inspiratory breath hold for mediastinal lymphoma. He is the Chair of the Lymphoma Track Scientific Committee for the Annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). He is the Chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Steering Committee of the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group (ILROG). He is the co-Chair of the Lymphoma Examination Committee of the American Board of Radiology and as a member of the Lymphoma Appropriateness Criteria Committee for the American Radium Society. At Penn Medicine, he contributes to the overall research mission as the co-Chair of the Abramson Cancer Center’s Scientific Protocol Review Committee as well as Chair of the Institutional Review Board at the University of Pennsylvania.
GI and Liver: Friday 4 June 2021, 12:30pm UTC / GMT
Dr. Michael Chuong
Baptist Health South Florida
Michael Chuong, MD, FACRO is a board-certified radiation oncologist at Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida. Dr. Chuong is the Director of Proton Therapy, Director of MR-Guided Radiation Therapy, and Director of Radiation Oncology Clinical Research. He is the lead physician for the GI radiation oncology service. Dr. Chuong is also the Vice Chair of Education and Clinical Research and an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Dr. Chuong received his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida and completed his radiation oncology residency training at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute where he served as the Chief Resident. Dr. Chuong holds leadership positions within several national and international organizations. He is the Disease Site Chair of the Proton Collaborative Group, the Particle Therapy Co-operative Group GI Sub-committee co-chair, and a member of the NRG Oncology GI subcommittee. In addition to expertise in proton therapy, he is also an internationally recognized expert in the use of MR-guided radiation therapy. Dr. Chuong is frequently invited to speak about his expertise in treating cancer patients with both novel technologies. Dr. Chuong has published over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is the principal investigator for several national and international clinical trials exploring novel therapies for the management of GI cancers. He is an editor for several prominent journals including the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics and Frontiers in Oncology. Dr. Chuong has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Clinical Medicine Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Award and the Moffitt Cancer Center Research Symposium Clinical Research Symposium Clinical Research Award.
Head and Neck: Friday 4 June 2021, 12:50pm UTC / GMT
Dr. Alex Lin
Roberts Proton Therapy Center
Alexander Lin, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. He also is the Chief of the Head and Neck Cancer Section in the Department of Radiation Oncology, the Medical Director of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, and the Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs. His clinical interests include the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers, and the integration of proton therapy in the cancer treatment paradigm. Dr. Lin is a NIH-funded clinical investigator, and his research program has been focused on his efforts on the integration of proton therapy for cancer treatments, toxicity mitigation and quality of life improvement, and the development of integration of novel agents given in conjunction with radiotherapy to target the tumor microenvironment for cancers of the head and neck.
Breast: Friday 4 June 2021, 1:10pm UTC / GMT
Dr. Shannon MacDonald
Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. MacDonald is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a Radiation Oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her expertise lies in the treatment of breast, pediatric and base-of-skull tumors with proton therapy. She is also credentialed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital to help provide proton therapy for their patients and promote collaboration and appropriate utilization this therapy. Providing comprehensive care to patients and their families remains the most fulfilling aspect of her career.
She has authored >130 publications (> 50 as first or senior author) including in JCO, NEJM, Lancet Oncology, Journal Of Pediatrics, Cancer, Neuro Oncology, and IJROBP. She is currently in a primary investigator or co-chair role of 2 large multi-institutional clinical trials. I am the Primary Investigator of a Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Trial for Central Nervous System (CNS) Germ Cell Tumors that will open in 2021 in COG sites and through Alliance, NRG, ECOG and SWOG. She is the Clinical Co-Chair of The Radiotherapy Comparative Effectiveness (RADCOMP) Consortium Trial, A Pragmatic Randomized Trial of Proton vs. Photon Therapy for Patients with non-Metastatic Breast Cancer funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which is open at 69 sites and 24 proton centers in the United States. She is also the primary investigator for a pilot study open at the Massachusetts General Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center investigating a novel way to administer cranio-spinal irradiation for children that will allow for sparing of the bony vertebral column. She was the primary investigator of a phase II study using proton therapy for locally advanced breast cancer which provided the preliminary data for RADCOMP and was the first prospective study to use protons for advanced breast cancer.
Biology Educational Sessions
Radiation Biology- Fundamentals: Friday 4 June 2021, 10:45am UTC / GMT
Dr. Amy Chadwick
The University of Manchester
Dr Amy Chadwick is a research fellow in the PRECISE proton therapy research group at the University of Manchester. She leads the biological activity in the multidisciplinary research team and has been key to setting up the proton therapy research facility in Manchester. She also leads the radiobiology teaching on a Master’s degree programme. Amy is a radiobiologist with a background in cancer biology and experimental therapeutics. Her research aims to understand the biological difference between protons and photons at the cellular level and how this can be harnessed to aid patient treatment.
FLASH Radiobiology Fundamentals: Friday 4 June 2021, 11:50am UTC / GMT
Institut Curie, CNRS, Université Paris Saclay
Charles FOUILLADE is a radiation biologist studying the impact of radiotherapy on normal tissue. His research aims at understanding the mechanisms behind ultra-high dose-rate “FLASH” radiation therapy. Using state-of-the-art molecular techniques such as single cell RNAseq and spatial transcriptomics in combination with in vivo and ex vivo models, he studies the molecular impact of FLASH radiation therapy at the cellular level.
GRID/Mini beams Radiobiology Fundamentals: Friday 4 June 2021, 12:40pm UTC / GMT
Dr Yolanda Prezado
New Approaches in Radiotherapy (NARA)- Institut Curie
Dr. Yolanda Prezado is the head of the interdisciplinary team “New Approaches in Radiotherapy (NARA)” based at Institut Curie (Orsay, France). The main research avenue of the NARA team is the conception and development of innovative radiotherapy techniques based on the spatial fractionation of the dose. In 2018 she was awarded an ERC consolidator grant to fund what is currently the team’s flagship project: Proton Minibeam Radiation Therapy. After some years working as a clinical medical physicist, she became beamline scientist at the Biomedical Beamline of the European Synchrotron Radiation facility (Grenoble, France). There, she stayed from 2007 to 2011 and started exploring the limits of spatial fractionation of the dose with techniques like Microbeam and Minibeam Radiation Therapy. From 2011 onwards, she is a tenured scientist at French National Research Centre (CNRS), based at Campus of Orsay, where she pioneered the combination of spatial fractionated radiotherapy and charged particles. In 2019, she moved to Institut Curie to lead a SIRIC (“comprehensive research against cancer”) labelled new group in radiobiology. She has acted as Chair of Science Committee of European Federation of Medical Physics (2019-2020). She is currently the vice-spokesperson of the International Biophysics Collaboration.