In February, at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) in Perth, we had the delightful opportunity of hearing from a collection of specialists regarding medical imaging and its applications in radiation oncology. The audience consisted of novices to the field (with many masters students in attendance) up to experienced staff and experts. The presentations were spread across two days.

Day 1 – Medical Imaging
After an introduction from Godfrey Mukwada from SCGH’s own Radiation Oncology department, we leapt into the general concepts of diagnostic imaging with Rik Nezich from the Medical Technology and Physics (MT&P) department. This was followed by a double-feature from Curtin University’s Cat Kealley, bringing a lecturer’s pizazz to her X-ray topics. Also from the MTP department, Roger Price took us through CT and CBCT physics. Then, we had Lois Holloway, travelling from the Liverpool Cancer Centre in NSW, with MRI physics.
With a break for lunch, we came back refreshed and ready for talks on imaging doses with John Burrage (Fiona Stanley Hospital) and new radiochemistry, molecular imaging and theragnostics with Paul Brayshaw(SCGH).
Our day ended with Jason Dowling, heralding from CSIRO eHealth in Queensland, speaking on his specialty of image handling, and a joint presentation from Jan Boucek and Liesl Celliers from the Harry Perkins Institute continuing the theme with imaging in pre-clinical research.

Day 2 – Applications in Radiation Oncology
The second day of the workshop focused on applications of imaging in radiotherapy via multi-disciplinary presentations. Radiation Therapists from SCGH presented on specific image guidance options and functionality available on Varian Truebeam accelerators and the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system. Local Physicists presented more generally on the use of ultrasound and MRI in treatment, and the overall role of imaging throughout the treatment chain.
Local WA Nuclear Medicine Physician Prof Ros Francis presented on the rapid rise in use of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) based radiopharmaceuticals. Prof Francis chairs the Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials Network (ARTnet) which is actively supporting trials in the use of Ga-68 and Lu-177 labelled PSMA for simultaneous imaging and treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
We were also fortunate to be provided with a presentation from Prof Robert Jeraj, from the University of Wisconsin, who is currently on sabbatical at the University of Western Australia. Prof Jeraj has undertaken some unique studies in the use of molecular imaging, particularly positron emission tomography, for characterising tumours, guiding radiotherapy, and tracking disease progression.

Feedback from the event was exceptionally positive, with almost all attendees hoping for future workshops.
All PowerPoint slides are available via this link.

The 2-day workshop was supported by the WA Radiation Oncology Workforce group, the WA Health Cancer and Palliative Care Network, and the ACPSEM.

Thank you Kelly and Martin for writing up this page.
Kelly MacKinnon (Medical Physics MSc student, The University of Western Australia)
Martin Ebert (Director of Physics Research, Department of Radiation Oncology, SCGH, on behalf of workshop co-organisers Allison Scott and Godfrey Mukwada)

 

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