Advanced oncology training

Advanced oncology training

While India — the cities of Chennai and Bangalore in particular — is emerging as a hub for inexpensive and effective medical care for the subcontinent and beyond, we still require more developments in the area of advanced medical training, especially in highly specialised and fast changing areas such as cancer treatment.

 In such a scenario, it is expected that the Nucletron India Training Academy (NITA) at Chennai, launched recently by Nucletron, a leading provider of state-of-the-art radiotherapy solutions for cancer treatment, will help bring advanced medical training programmes to the country.

Funded by the Dutch government and Nucletron, NITA will provide professional training to radiation oncologists and medical physicists around its solutions for both brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy. The training is specifically targeted to upgrade and update the skills in the use and application of treatment delivery and planning systems.

“The training programmes will be conducted by highly experienced experts. We are very happy to be able to provide radiation oncologists and medical physicists with specific training to improve their skills in treating and beating cancer”, says B Viswanathan, Managing Director, Nucletron India. “We are convinced that NITA will have a positive effect on the expertise in precision cancer treatment in this region”, adds Dr A Vasanthan, Chairman, Dept of Radiation Oncology and Additional Director, Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai.

Short-term training programmes

Among the range of short-term training courses is the training programme on clinical brachytherapy for radiation oncologists.  This four-day course comprises both classroom and practical sessions. The classroom session will be for a day, focusing on contouring and plan evaluation in brachytherapy planning. The next three days will focus on learning patient selection criteria, different brachytherapy techniques, clinical workflows and its best practices at a reputed cancer hospital in the city. This course will be useful for radiation oncologists who are looking to expand their brachytherapy treatment options. 

Another course offered by NITA is the five-day Brachytherapy Planning Techniques for medical physicists. The course covers topics like creation of customising files, brachy-algorithms, catheter reconstruction, creation of dose points, optimisation, normalisation, prescription and physics behind the same. The trainees will be exposed to different brachytherapy techniques and planning procedures, with hands-on practice on intracavitary, intraluminal and interstitial planning procedures, and usage of microSelectron HDR and applicators.

The training programme on External Beam Planning Methods for Medical Physicists (System: Oncentra) with 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) will be for a duration of four days. This course is designed to give knowledge and skills to perform a 3D conformal plan with sessions on importing image set, registration, contouring, beam placement, virtual simulation, dose calculation, evaluation and prescription. Meanwhile, the IMRT training programme will be a two-day optimiser module and is a sequel to the 3 DCRT course. This course is designed to provide all essential aspects of IMRT planning and the course will be covering basics and pre-requisites of IMRT, defining clinical goals, segmentation and final dose calculation. Another training programme from NITA is the basics of treatment planning, a three-day course for students of medical physics. The course includes basics of treatment planning, physics and algorithms, beam modifiers, beam shapers, basics of IMRT, IGRT and VMAT.  Besides these, there is NITA’s two-day programme on contouring and plan evaluation processes.

Refresher courses

NITA also offers two-day refresher courses for medical physicists, which will provide opportunities for serving medical physicists to exchange experiences with the trainers, mutually learn from each other, and refreshing and expanding the knowledge of the trainees in external beam.  Another refresher course is NITA’s two-day brachytherapy planning course for serving medical physicists to exchange experiences with the trainers and mutually learn from each other. Prior knowledge of oncentra brachy planning is required to take up this programme.

Candidates taking up these courses will have to arrange for their accommodation. For more information, contact Nucletron: 3, D’Silva Road, Mylapore, Chennai – 600 004, India. Ph: +91 44 2499 2877 / 2499 1871.  Fax: +91 44 2499 1967. E-mail: