Cursos precongreso ESTRO 2020

Cursos precongreso ESTRO 2020. 3 abril 2020. Viena (Austria).


Health Services Research (HSR) and Health Economics in Radiation Oncology (HERO) 

Friday, 3 April 2020 from 08:30-17:00

Course directors: Y. Lievens (BE) and E. Zubizarreta (AT)

Course aim

The general objectives of healthcare are to ascertain quality, availability, accessibility and efficiency of care. In an era of tight healthcare budgets, all these aspects are more than ever relevant.

Besides the slow transition of clinical evidence into daily practice due to patient and physician factors, the limited availability of resources – often consequence of socio-economic factors – may be limiting access to healthcare, especially to innovative treatments that typically come with a higher cost. Accurately estimating the cost of new radiation treatments remains a challenge but it is required as a first step to determine their cost-effectiveness (i.e. efficiency), hence acceptability, from a societal perspective. To do so, economic evaluations are performed, balancing their additional costs to their expected clinical benefits, compared to standard-of-care. In addition, budget impact analyses define whether the introduction of new interventions in daily practice is affordable, now, and in the future. Value also weighs costs and outcomes, however, puts the patient, and the outcome most favoured by the patient, in the centre of the equation.

All these aspects are part of a broader health technology assessment program that should endorse the uptake of established and valuable new interventions by the healthcare system, hence support their reimbursement.

Learning Objectives

To provide understanding of:

•       The availability and accessibility of radiotherapy services and resources;

•      The needs of radiotherapy, both in terms of number of treatments delivered as of resources required to deliver these treatments;

•       How radiotherapy resource costs are calculated;

•      How costs relate to reimbursement and how the reimbursement system can drive practice;

•       Economic evaluations, with a focus on the context of radiotherapy;

•       Budget impact analysis, with a focus on the context of radiotherapy;

•       How investment cases can be developed for radiotherapy;

•       What value-based healthcare means for radiotherapy;

To facilitate:

•       Networks between radiation oncology professionals interested in different aspects of health services research

Who should attend
Radiation oncologists, medical physicists, RTTs with an interest of how health services research impacts the way we can deliver care to our patients; health economists and health services researchers with an interest in oncology and radiotherapy.



Artificial intelligence for clinicians

Friday, 3 April 2020 from 08:30-17:00

Course directors: E. Sterpin (BE) and M. Dahele (NL)

Course aim

Artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to revolutionize many sectors, including healthcare. The aim of this one-day course is to provide a state-of-the-art, critical, overview of (selected) AI-related developments in radiotherapy.

Learning objectives

– Describe the fundamentals of AI-related software (machine learning, neural network, deep learning)
– Evaluate and criticise AI-based automatic clinical workflows, ranging from specific tasks like segmentation, to the adaptive radiotherapy workflow
– Consider AI and Big data for discovering new paradigms in clinical practice
–  Be able to identify how AI may present opportunities to advance their own research and clinical interests
–  Be aware of the social dimension of AI and automation, including how they might affect jobs

Who should attend?

AI is likely to touch the whole of radiotherapy, from specific tasks like segmentation and treatment planning, to workflows like adaptive radiotherapy, to treatment selection and patient outcomes. Therefore, in addition to physicists, we anticipate that it will also appeal to interested technologists and clinicians



The evolving role of medical physicists in clinical trials

Friday, 3 April 2020 from 08:30-17:00

Course Directors: D. Fuller (US) and M. Aznar (UK)

Course aim

To review the life cycle of radiotherapy clinical trials and to encourage medical physicists to participate actively at all stages of clinical trial design, management and analysis.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Discuss and contribute to the different steps in the process of clinical trial design
  • Understand the basic elements of radiotherapy trial QA and be able to construct a basic QA programme for a radiotherapy trial
  • Conduct sample size calculations for simple randomised trial designs
  • Learn where and how to access data from completed clinical trials
  • Understand how physicists can contribute to current clinical trials (ongoing or in development) inside and outside your own institution.
  • Assess the directions of future medical physics research / development related to, e.g. QA and imaging Biomarkers

Who should attend?

This course is designed for medical physicists, but other specialties are welcome. Participants do NOT need to have experience with or work in an institution involved in clinical trials. Participants be given the basics to get started and discuss other ways to be involved, e.g. how to build projects based on publicly available data sources or contribute to national trials groups.



Interaction between the tumor ecosystem (microenvironment) and radiation

Friday, 3 April 2020 from 08:30-17:00

Course Directors: J. Bussink (NL) and U. Gaipl (DE)

Course aim

To become acquainted with how radiation impacts the tumor and its microenvironment and the subsequently responses.

Learning objectives

Participants will obtain knowledge on cellular and molecular processes in tumor cells and cells of the tumor microenvironment that are jolted by radiation, the consecutive direct or indirect modulation of the tumor microenvironment and systemic responses and the final consequences for anti-tumor immunity as well as tissue side reactions.

Who should attend?

Radiobiologists, Clinicians, Physicists, Technicians



Research for RTTs

Friday, 3 April 2020 from 08:30-17:00

Course directors: A. Duffton (UK) and Y. Tsang (UK)

Course aim

The course is directed at RTTs and professionals either interested in developing research expertise, or/and leading research teams. Aspects covered will include study design, through to analysis and dissemination of projects. The course will allow networking with other RTTs research active in research and encourage future collaborations.

This pre-meeting course aims to enable attendants:

  • To learn how to develop and lead an initial clinical research idea into a successful project, with scientific output.
  • To evaluate the current trends of radiotherapy research and discuss potential challenges and bottlenecks for future research opportunities.
  • To adopt a critical approach of how to dissertate research findings (such as manuscript writing and research grant applications).

Learning objectives

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the quality of radiotherapy research concerning novelty, feasibility, potential impact and clinical relevance.
  • Effectively discuss research ideas/projects with colleagues to maximise scientific value.
  • Discuss current trends and research opportunities in radiotherapy and related technical fields.

Who should attend?

  • RTTs who are early starters in research (including MSc students). Possibly, but not necessarily, they have relevant clinical experience outside research.
  • RTTs who want to develop research skills
  • RTTs who want to be more involved in research.