The first joint International Conference on Translational Research in Radio-Oncology and Physics for Health in Europe will take place in Geneva on February 27 – March 2, 2012.
This conference represents a new reality in Oncology, as it brings together two major events in the interdisciplinary field at the intersection of Medicine, Biology and Physics: the ICTR conference and CERN’s Physics for Health workshop.
The ICTR conferences started in 2000 with the objective to update the radiation oncology community on the most recent advances in translational research, reinforce the synergies among clinicians, biologists and medical physicists, and, last but not least, trigger personal and institutional contacts favouring a more efficient collaboration between laboratories worldwide.
The first edition of the Physics for Health workshop was organised by CERN in February 2010 with the objective of reviewing the progress in the domain of physics applications in life sciences, stimulating the exchange between different teams and indicating the subjects most suitable for further studies in diagnosis and therapy. The workshop, which was the first of its kind, brought together some 400 healthcare professionals, biologists and physicists to examine the increasingly important interface between physics and health.
One of the main reasons to merge ICTR and PHE is to develop new strategies to treat cancer, by uniting biology and physics with clinics. These novel synergies will be the “red thread” that ICTRPHE 2012 will follow during the whole conference.
The first two days (Monday, Tuesday) will be articulated into the four major topics defined during the previous Physics for Health workshop: radiobiology; radioisotopes; medical imaging; and novel technologies in radiation therapy. Wednesday will connect the PHE and ICTR communities, and will feature plenary lectures on the many synergies that exist nowadays between biology, physics and clinics. Finally, the last two days (Thursday, Friday) will have the format that made the success of the previous editions of the ICTR Conference, with a combination of plenary and parallel sessions on translational research and pre-clinical strategies in radiation oncology.
Importantly enough, this Conference will also develop further expansion of our partnership with industry, with concerted efforts in Research & Development and a common approach to emerging educational modalities in translational research. All this will be formalised through the publication of the Conference abstracts in a Supplement of “Radiotherapy and Oncology” fully dedicated to ICTR-PHE 2012.
Setting the stage for a new international conference is always a challenge, requiring an optimal coordination between all the components of the enterprise. But we are strongly convinced that the efforts we will put forth for a better integration along tracks where radiation physics, biology and medicine intertwine, will be key to success.
More information about this conference can be found on the ICTR-PHE 2012 website.