The use of proton therapy in oncology is not a new idea. The unique physical properties of protons and potential advantages in radiation therapy were initially recognized in the 1940s. Since the first patients were treated in the 1950s, technology and clinical applications have evolved as evidenced by the increasing number of proton therapy centers and patients being treated throughout the world. This chapter will review the history of proton therapy providing a detailed overview of the cyclotron and synchrotron techniques used and how they have advanced with time.
Part of the book: Proton Therapy
Technology and computational analytics are moving forward at an extraordinary rate with changes in patient care and department workflows. This rapid pace of change often requires initiating and maintaining the educational support at multiple levels to introduce technology to radiation oncology staff members. Modern physics quality assurance and dosimetry treatment planning now require expertise beyond traditional skill based in computational algorithms and image management including quality assurance of the process of image acquisition and fusion of image datasets. Expertise in volumetric anatomy and normal tissue contouring are skills now performed by physics/dosimetry in collaboration with physicians and these skills are required in modern physics dosimetry training programs. In this chapter, challenges of modern radiation planning are reviewed for each disease site. Skills including future applications of image integration into planning objects and the future utility of artificial intelligence in modern radiation therapy treatment planning are reviewed as these issues will need to be added to modern training programs.
Part of the book: Dosimetry