COURSE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
The aim of the course is acquaintance with the application of physical methods in modern medicine with particular emphasis on the understanding of diagnostic and therapeutic methods in which radiation is used. Thorough understanding of dosimetry concepts, principles of operation of radiation producing units (treatment machines), radiotherapy treatment planning process, radiobiology and radiation protection in medicine. Gaining knowledge about diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine image formation principles and relevant image processing aiming at optimised image quality.
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND SYLLABUS:
1. Interaction of ionising radiation (electrons and photons) with matter.
2. Basic dosimetry concepts and dosimetry quantities, and units.
3. Photon and electron beam dosimetry. Absolute, relative dosimetry and in-vivo dosimetry.
4. Clinical radiotherapy. Properties and application of radiotherapy units: kV X-ray therapy units, Co-60 units and linear accelerators.
5. Imaging in radiotherapy: conventional X-ray unit, simulator, CT simulator, portal imaging, cone beam CT (CBCT).
6. Radiotherapy treatment planning process. Computerised treatment planning: algorithms, implementation, speed, approximations and verification.
7. Brachytherapy: radiation sources, clinical techniques, source calibration, treatment planning and quality assurance.
8. Radionuclides, radioactivity measurements and radiation detectors in nuclear medicine.
9. Principles of radionuclide imaging (gamma camera, SPECT, PET). Diagnostic radiology imaging (X-ray, CT). Image reconstruction from projections. Hybrid imaging techniques (SPECT/CT, PET/CT).
10. Radiation protection in medicine. Introduction to radiobiology.
TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT METHODS:
The essential teaching method will be a series of lectures appended by selected problem solving exercises and short demonstrations in which the programs for image processing, radiation interaction, as well as the use of dosimetry databases, calibration protocols and absorbed dose calculation in radiation therapy will be explained. Visits to the clinical hospitals, where selected topics in medical physics will be presented, are planned. In addition, homework assignments related to dosimetry, image processing, radiation protection and radiobiology will be given.
Students will be graded according to the results obtained from the project assignment and the final, oral exam.
Regular attendance of the lectures and problem solving exercises-tutorials. Project assignment/seminar: presentation or a report submission is mandatory.