Medical Physicists organize themselves to enhance their professional capabilities


 Medical Physicists organize themselves 
to enhance their professional capabilities

POMP in collaboration with AAPM organizes a 
training course 
at JPMC which attracts many participants

KARACHI: Medical Physicists of Pakistan have organized themselves under the banner of Pakistan Organization of Medical Physicists (POMP) to enhance their professional capabilities. In collaboration with American Association of Medical Physicists (AAPM) they organized a three day training course at JPMC Karachi from January 5-7, 2018 which was very well attended. The faculty included eight eminent medical physicists from USA and Canada. The theme of the meeting was Current Trends of Technologies in Medical Physics, Cancer Imaging and Treatment”. Prof. Tariq Mahmood Head of the Dept.of Radiology at JPMC was the moving spirit behind this academic activity.

Prof. Zafar Sajjad along with Dr. Abdul Rashid and Prof. Tariq Mahmood chairing the inaugural session
of the seminar on Current Trends and Technologies in Medical Physics, Cancer Imaging and Treatment.

Scientific programme of the course was spread over numerous sessions. The topics which were discussed on the first day included Evolution of Radiation Therapy by Jake Van Dyk Prof.Emeritus Oncology and Medical Biophysics at Western University, London, Ontario Canada. He discussed different eras of radiation therapy treatment planning and execution from 2-D to 3-D to IMRT. He also talked about imaging parameters involved in Radiation treatment planning and image Guided Radiation Therapy. Prof. Stephen Avery from University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia USA gave an overview of Linear accelerates involved in Electron and Photon based treatment. Radiotherapy management of early stage NSCLC was discussed by Johathan Lischalk from Georgetown University Washington USA. He also talked about Radiotherapy management of localized prostate cancer. DR. Chester Reft from University of Chicago USA made a presentation on Dosimetry in radiation therapy by using different types of detectors and dosimeters used in small field Dosimetry and absorbed dose. His other presentation was on In-vivo Dosimetry for patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy. Dr. Abdul Rashid from Georgetown University Hospital Washington discussed radiobiology healthy structure dose constraints, biological models, fractionation and hypo-fractionation. Dr. Kamran Saeed discussed Brain-Mets the five years’ experience of Cyber knife at JPMC.

On Sunday the last day of the course Stephen Avrey spoke on Radiation Shielding of MV Linac vaults, Dr. Muhammad Shahid talked about Misconceptions and errors in shielding calculations; Tariq Siddique’s presentation was on Introduciton of Monte Carlo Simulation in Medical Physics while Stephen Avery’s had another presentation on Electron Treatment Planning.

A group discussion wherein the foreign faculty participated is in progress during the seminar Current
Trends and Technologies in Medical Physics, Cancer Imaging and Treatment held at JPMC recently.

In the second session Jake Van Dyke presented highlights from the Report of the International Atomic Energy on Accuracy Requirements and Uncertainties in Radiotherapy. He discussed in detail radiation treatment process which he pointed out was complex and consisted of multiple steps. There are uncertainties which occur at every stage. Scientific uncertainty is measurement related while human uncertainty is related to diagnosis, decision making. He then elaborated how to minimize uncertainties in radiation treatment, dose uncertainties, decision making by radiation oncologists, uncertainties with new technologies involving physics, treatment. He was of the view that while we were doing well with the present technologies, there are issues related to constant improvement.

The foreign faculty members photographed along with Prof. Tariq Mahmood in front of the Cyber Knife
Radio Robotic surgery unit at JPMC during their recent visit to Pakistan.

Tracing the history Dr. Jake Van Dyke said that from 1970-1980 was the 2D RT era while from 1980-1990 was the 3 D CRT era. He also talked about calculation of uncertainty of dose delivered during Radiation Therapy. The IAEC report he stated was 297 pages with 635 references and it is freely available on the agency website. A summary of this report was also prepared which covers practically achievable levels of accuracy, management uncertainty. Recommendations cover imaging issues, patient set up, radiation treatment processes, treatment planning issues including dose calculation, optimization, verification of image generation, treatment planning and treatment delivery, He laid emphasis that it is important to determine right dose to the patient. The nine recommendations in the IAE report cover accurate and accessible, implementation of reports by concerned groups, sample guide of uncertainty estimates, implementing Dosimetry audit, implementing continuous Quality assurance programme, appropriate education and training, uncertainty estimates should be reported in publications. Training by Vendors on use of technologies besides areas for future research.

Dr. Georges El-Fakhri from Harvard Medical School talked about Basics of PET-CT scanner along with Basics of Cyclotron. He highlighted the effects of patient size on image quality, factors which affect spatial resolution in PET sensitivity in end planes in detail.

Prof. Nadeem Abbasi from Aga Khan University Hospital talked about evolution of Medical Physics in Pakistan; Dr. Kamran Saeed gave details of five years experience of Brain Mets managed at Cyber knife at JPMC while Dr. M. Shahid’s presentation was on Misconception and errors in shielding calculation.

Group Photograph of the participants along the foreign faculty of symposium on Current Trends and
Technologies in Medical Physics, Cancer Imaging and Treatment organized at JPMC recently.

The course was formally inaugurated by Prof.Zafar Sajjad from Aga Khan University Hospital who is also visiting Professor of Radiology at JPMC. Dr. Ibrar Hussain from USA presently serving in Saudi Arabia made some introductory remarks. Prof.Tariq Mahmood Patron of the course gave a brief Introduction about JPMC and Patients Aid Foundation which was followed by an Introduciton of the course. The training course was also attended by eminent radiation oncologists and physicists from all over Pakistan. They included Dr.Azhar Rashid, Dr.Siraj Abbasi, Dr. Naveed Ahmed, Dr.Shazia Kadri, Dr. Abdul Ghaffar, Dr.Sana Mahmood, Dr.Sarosh Arif, Mr.Saeedur Rehman, Miss Naureen Marwat, Mr.Nouman Siddiqui, Mr.Arshad, Mr. Khalid Mahmod and Mr. Mishkat Ali. Mr. Mushtaq Chapra who was the chief guest at the concluding session presented mementoes among the guest speakers and members of the organizing committee. The visiting faculty from USA and Canada also visited the CT-PET and Cyber knife facilities at JPMC. This academic activity made history in the field of Medical Physics as it attracted over two hundred participants from all over Pakistan which included Physicists, Physicians and Medical Technologists.

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