Smart Technology to Extend Lives with Linear Accelerators
The need for robust, first-rate radiation treatment systems capable of functioning in the challenging environments encountered in many developing countries is a well-recognized global need. ICEC is addressing this issue through the development and implementation of creative and innovative ideas. This multi-year program has benefited from the support of ICEC, CERN, STFC (UK), leading universities and committed individuals who are interested in providing radiotherapy to those without current access to radiation therapy technologies.
March 22-23, 2018
CERN, ICEC and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
ICEC, CERN and STFC, who was sponsor and host, held a workshop near the UK Daresbury Laboratory on March 22-23, 2018. The progress of the work packages assigned from the October 2017 meeting was reported and the work packages, as well as productive ideas presented at the workshop, will be incorporated into a comprehensive technology proposal to further develop novel linear accelerators for challenging environments. The proposal will be submitted to the UK Global Challenges Research Fund Foundation for further funding.
The five work packages were as follows:
1. Linear accelerator simulations for the stable and sustainable operation of developing country radiotherapy linear accelerators (PIs: Stewart Boogert and Marco Carlone).
2. Accelerator technology options study (PIs: Peter McIntosh and Alan Wheelhouse).Cloud-based Electronic Infrastructure in Support of Linac-based
3. Radiotherapy in Challenging Environments (PIs: Ajay Aggarwal and Jatinder Palta)
4. Robust Permanent Magnet Beam Delivery Systems for Medical Radiotherapy Linacs (PIs: Suzanne Sheehy and Ivan Konoplev)
5. RF Power Systems and Optimized RF Structures for Electron Beam Acceleration (PIs: Ivan Konoplev and Suzanne Sheehy).
October 26-27, 2017
ICEC, CERN and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
“Innovative, robust and affordable medical linear accelerators for challenging environments”
The need for robust, first-rate radiation treatment systems capable of functioning in the challenging environments encountered in many developing countries is another well-recognized global need. ICEC’s program that addresses this challenge is the lower arrow in figure 1. This topic was the subject of an ICEC-sponsored, CERN-hosted workshop held at CERN in November 2016. An overview of the workshop is available on our website and in the CERN Courier (https://cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/67710). Publication of a detailed report of the 2016 workshop is under review and a report of the 2017 workshop is in preparation.
The follow-up workshop at CERN in October 2017 was entitled “Innovative, robust and affordable medical linear accelerators for challenging environments”. The event was a collaboration between CERN, ICEC and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and was organized by Manjit Dosanjh and Paul Collier, Norman Coleman and David Pistenmaa, and Charlotte Jamieson, respectively. About 50 participants including physicians and physicists from five UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries (Botswana, Ghana, Jordan, Nigeria and Tanzania) met to further define the equipment needs in LMICs and to build a strategy for increasing access to radiotherapy for a larger number of people by developing novel, innovative, robust and affordable medical linear accelerators for the treatment of patients with cancer in challenging environments. STFC established an immediate objective to develop 5 work packages involving ODA countries that corresponded to the technical sessions of the workshop.
ICEC and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
ICEC Sponsored and CERN hosted Workshop on Design Characteristics of a Novel Linear Accelerator for Challenging Environments – Improving global access to radiation therapy
November 7-8, 2016
The first of its kind workshop regarding the need for radiation therapy education and training for a workforce to be able to safely use innovative linear accelerator technology was held at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more readily identified as CERN, in Geneva on November 7-8, 2016. Organized by Norm Coleman and Dave Pistenmaa, ICEC, and Manjit Dosanjh, CERN, the workshop had almost 70 attendees even though attendance was limited by invitation. The initial impetus was to address the need to replace cobalt-60 treatment units with novel linear accelerator technology to reduce the risk of un- or poorly-secured radioactive material. The meeting was well-received and extraordinarily productive. A full report is in preparation with the general conclusions that there are now opportunities, ideas and interest in such an effort. Four Task Groups will be formed to work on 1) enhancing currently available treatment systems with innovative software, 2) developing novel hardware as well as software technological systems solutions, 3) augmenting and upgrading education and training modules to ensure optimal use of new or improved treatment systems and 4) developing and implementing innovative economic models to sustain the ICEC-led program. ICEC appreciates Varian, Accuray, Elekta, CERN and others for their enthusiastic participation and generous support of the workshop.
The workshop was attended by a wide range of leading experts from the following agencies and organizations including: AAPM, Accuray International, African Centre for Science and International Security, Artiman, ASTRO, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, US Department of State, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, DOE/NNSA Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation R&D, Elekta Medical Systems, ENEA, Particle Accelerators and Medical Applications Laboratory, EPFL – Lausanne, Ghent University Hospital and Ghent University, Hughes Network Systems, International Atomic Energy Agency, ICEC, Henry Ford Health System, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Cancer Expert Corps, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, MAASTRO Clinic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Medical Physics for World Benefit (MPWB), NASA Johnson Space Center, National Cancer Institute (USA) – Radiation Research Program, National Centre for Nuclear Research, NCBJ – Poland, NYP/Weill Cornell Medicine, Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital, Physics Department, University of Surrey – UK, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Raysearch Laboratories, SIEMENS, SLAC/Stanford University, Stanford University School of Medicine, Swiss Medical Network, TERA, University Hospital of Geneva, University of Pennsylvania, US Department of Energy, US National Nuclear Security Administration, Center for Global Health, Varian Medical Systems, Western Sydney University and others.