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Setting up a radiotherapy program


The medical physics aspects of setting up a radiotherapy program are multi-faceted. Issues that need to be addressed include design of the facility, specification and selection of equipment, acceptance and commissioning of equipment including software systems, staffing levels and staff training, establishment of a quality assurance programme and dealing with radiation protection and safety issues.

Important Principles

It is widely acknowledged that the clinical aspects (diagnosis, treatment decision making, indication for treatment and follow-up), as well as the procedures related to the physical and technical aspects of patient treatment, must be subjected to careful control and planning in order to ensure safe, high quality, radiotherapy. While it has long been recognized that the physical aspects of quality assurance in radiotherapy are vital to achieving effective and safe treatment, it has been increasingly acknowledged that a systematic approach is necessary for all the steps within the clinical and technical aspects of radiotherapy programmes as well.

Introduction to References

The IAEA publication “Setting Up a Radiotherapy Programme: Clinical, Medical Physics, Radiation Protection and Safety Aspects” is a comprehensive guidance document for medical physicists. IAEA publication “Planning National Radiotherapy Services: A Practical Tool” provides overall guidance in planning national radiotherapy services.