International Conference on Quality Assurance and New Techniques in Radiation Medicine

13 - 15 November
Vienna, Austria

Organized by the
International Atomic Energy Agency

Cosponsored by the
American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO)
European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM)
International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP)

In cooperation with the
Asia-Oceania Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics (AFOMP)
Asociacion Latinoamericana de Terapia Radiante Oncológica (ALATRO)
European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP)
European Society of Radiology (ESR)
European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO)
International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU)
International Radiology Quality Network (IRQN)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (WFNMB)
World Health Organization (WHO)





Announcement and Call for Papers


1. BACKGROUND

During the last decade, technological innovations have been introduced into medical practice to support new diagnostic and treatment modalities that involve the use of radiation. These innovations frequently depend on advanced, high-speed computer systems that operate with digitally processed information right up to the analogue display presented to the decision maker. The safety and effectiveness of the diagnosis and treatment provided to patients demand multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals to develop and monitor the equipment and confirm the integrity of its output. Quality control (QC) of individual components is used to ensure these new devices are functioning properly at each step in the chain. Nevertheless, a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) system is required to guarantee to patients that these medical procedures will yield valuable information or provide needed treatment that can be implemented properly and used to achieve a positive impact on their health. This conference will focus on the QC tests and QA systems used in radiation medicine, particularly for new and emerging technologies.

The conference will provide a unique opportunity to deal with QA within several disciplines:

In radiation oncology, a systematic approach is being developed to examine the impact of introducing new technologies in terms of treatment outcomes. The evidence will be based on assessing improved quality of life due to fewer complications and increased longevity due to better local control of disease.

In nuclear medicine, QA objectives are the improvement of the quality and reproducibility of diagnostic imaging and therapeutic treatments, which should bring the necessary information and therapeutic results with the smallest amount of administered activity. Overall, the system implemented should be customer (patient) oriented in order to guarantee a service that meets the highest achievable professional standards. Departmental organization should include QC programmes that ensure the most effective use of available equipment and human resources.

In diagnostic radiology, QA systems are being implemented to improve the determination of risk by calculating doses to organs of individual patients based on their specific anatomy and the details of the procedure that was performed.

In medical radiation physics, recent developments in specific areas of QA of the physical and technical aspects in diagnostic and therapeutic applications and their links to comprehensive quality systems are of interest. In this context, contributions are expected on QA programmes and QC protocols in diagnostic radiology (e.g., mammography, CT, interventional, digital imaging, etc.), in nuclear medicine (e.g., dose assessment, radiopharmacy, PET/CT image fusion), and in radiation therapy (e.g., treatment planning and delivery, conformal therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, etc.).

Cross-cutting issues will be explored that have broad impact on quality such as, education, training and accreditation; telemedicine; data management and storage; etc. In addition, interdependent, cross-discipline issues are important. For example, special attention will be paid to the fidelity of tumour localization as delivered by diagnostic equipment since this is key input to the cancer treatment planning process and ongoing monitoring of treatment effects.

In public health, DEXA bone densitometry is used widely in the diagnosis of osteoporosis as well as in measurements of body composition in nutrition evaluations. The technique is often used in longitudinal studies (repeated measures), for example to monitor the efficacy of a nutrition intervention. As DEXA is used in the monitoring of changes in body composition and changes in bone density, vulnerable population groups such as children and young adults are involved as well as postmenopausal women.

As a result of bringing together experts in QA and health care professionals faced with practical decisions to be taken every day, it is hoped that recommendations and guidance will be created to deal with the rapid developments in medical technology and stimulate the creation of a quality culture supported by properly trained professionals.

2. OBJECTIVE

Quality Assurance for Quality Care

The conference will provide an opportunity to discuss the importance of quality assurance (QA) in applications involving the use of ionising radiation in medicine in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. The programme will focus on the QA systems and quality control (QC) procedures used in diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy, with a special focus on new and emerging technologies. Multidisciplinary issues such as education, training and accreditation; telemedicine; data management and storage will also be discussed.

3. AUDIENCE

This conference will be of interest to individuals concerned with the application of QA/QC programmes in radiation medicine. This includes hospital executives, physicians, medical physicists, biologists, biomedical engineers, technologists, QA experts and regulators. The conference seeks to bring professionals in these areas together to share experiences and expertise in order to promote and expand the implementation of QA programmes in medical procedures involving radiation.

4. TOPICS

The Conference will cover developments in the field of QA and optimization of practices as applied in all of the major disciplines of radiation medicine. Multidisciplinary issues such as education, training and accreditation; telemedicine; data management and storage will also be discussed.

The IAEA welcomes high quality contributions on the following topics:

  • Diagnostic radiology
    • mammography
    • X ray computed tomography
    • interventional radiology
    • digital imaging
    • bone densitometry (DEXA)
  • Nuclear Medicine
    • modern dose assessment methodologies, including patient-specific approaches
    • QC of radiopharmaceuticals
    • QC of SPECT, PET, SPECT/CT and PET/CT systems


  • Radiotherapy


    • dosimetry
    • treatment planning and delivery
    • conformal therapy
    • intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)
    • stereotactic radiotherapy
    • brachytherapy
    • hadron therapy

5. PAPERS AND POSTERS

Concise papers on issues falling within the topics outlined in the section above may be submitted as contributions to the conference. All papers, apart from invited papers, must present original work; they should not have been published elsewhere.

(a) Submission of synopses

Persons who wish to present a paper or poster at the conference must submit an extended synopsis (in English) of 800 words (i.e. two A4 format pages of single spaced typing or the equivalent, including any tables or diagrams and a few pertinent references) together with the completed Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Participation Form (Form A) to the competent national authority for official transmission to the IAEA in time for them to be received by the IAEA by 17 March 2006. In addition, the synopsis should be sent electronically to the Scientific Secretariat, email: [email protected].

It is also possible to submit Forms A & B through one of the co-sponsoring or cooperating organizations.

Authors are urged to make use of the Extended Synopsis Template in Word 2000 on the conference web page. The specifications and instructions for preparing the synopsis and how to use the synopsis template are given in the attached “Instructions on How to Prepare the Synopsis and Submit it Electronically”. Also attached to this announcement is a sample extended synopsis.

The synopsis will be considered only if the Participation Form A and Paper Submission Form B have been received by the IAEA through the official governmental channels or one of the co-sponsoring or cooperating organizations.

(b) Acceptance of papers/posters

Authors will be informed by the end of May 2006 whether their paper has been accepted by the Programme Committee on the basis of the synopsis submitted. At the same time authors will be advised if their paper has been accepted for oral presentation or for presentation as a poster. Furthermore, those authors who are asked to prepare full papers for publication in the proceedings will receive guidelines for the preparation of papers and will be informed of the deadlines for their submission. However, all of the accepted synopses will be reproduced in unedited form in the Book of Extended Synopses which will be distributed at registration.

(c) Proceedings

It is intended to publish a subset of papers presented at the conference in a special issue of an international journal (subject to peer review). Further details will be provided after the extended synopses have been reviewed.

The IAEA reserves the right to refuse the presentation or publication of any paper that does not meet the expectations raised by the information originally given in the extended synopsis.

6. PARTICIPATION

All persons wishing to participate in the conference must send a completed Participation Form (Form A) to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) or one of the co-sponsoring or cooperating organizations for subsequent transmission to the IAEA. A participant will be accepted only if the Participation Form is transmitted through the competent official authority of a Member State of the IAEA or by an organization invited to participate.

Participants whose official nomination has been received by the IAEA will receive further information on the conference approximately two to three months before the meeting. This information will also be posted on the conference web page:

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Announcements.asp?ConfID=146.

7. EXPENDITURES

No registration fee is charged to participants.

As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay for participants’ travel and living expenses. However, limited funds are available to help meet the cost of attendance of selected specialists, mainly those from developing countries with low economic resources. Generally not more than one travel grant may be awarded to any one country.

If governments wish to apply for a grant on behalf of one of their specialists, they should address specific requests to the IAEA to this effect. Governments should ensure that applications for grants:

(a) be submitted by 17 March 2006,

(b) be accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant Application Form (see attached Form C).

Applications that do not comply with the conditions mentioned under (a) and (b) cannot be considered. The grants will be lump sums usually covering only part of the cost of attendance.

8. EXHIBITION

A limited amount of space will be available for commercial vendors’ displays/exhibits during the conference. Interested parties should contact the Scientific Secretariat .

9. WORKING LANGUAGE

The working language of the meeting will be English. All communications, synopses, abstracts and papers must be sent to the IAEA in English.

10. DISTRIBUTION OF DOCUMENTS

A preliminary programme of the conference will be sent to participants before the meeting.

The final programme and the Book of Extended Synopses will be distributed at registration.

11. ACCOMMODATION

Detailed information on accommodation and other items will be sent directly to all designated participants approximately two to three months before the meeting. This information will also be made available on the conference web page as soon as possible.

12. VISA

Designated participants who require a visa to enter Austria should submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Austria as soon as possible. Please note that Austria is a Schengen State and therefore persons who require a visa will have to apply for a ‘Schengen visa’ at least 14 days before entry into Austria. In States where Austria has no diplomatic mission, visas can be obtained from the consular authority of a Schengen Partner State representing Austria in the country in question. At present the Schengen States are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

13. CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION

The Participation Form (Form A), the Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B), together with a copy of each synopsis, and, if applicable, the Grant Application Form (Form C), should be sent to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) or to one of the co-sponsoring or cooperating organizations for transmission to the IAEA.

Subsequent correspondence on scientific matters should be sent to the Scientific Secretary and correspondence on administrative matters to the IAEA Conference Services Section.

14. CONFERENCE WEB PAGE

Please visit the IAEA conference web page regularly for new information regarding this conference:
http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Announcements.asp?ConfID=146
.

Scientific Secretariat of the Conference:

Mr. K. R. Shortt
Division of Human Health
International Atomic Energy Agency
Wagramer Strasse 5
P.O. Box 100
1400 Vienna, Austria

Email address for paper submission: [email protected]
Telephone No.: (+43 1) 2600 21664
Telefax No.: (+43 1) 2600 7 21662
Administration and organization:

Ms. R. Perricos
Conference Services Section
Division of Conference and Document Services
IAEA-CN-146
International Atomic Energy Agency
Wagramer Strasse 5
P.O. Box 100
1400 Vienna, Austria

Telephone No.: (+43 1) 2600 21315
Telefax No.: (+43 1) 2600 7
E-mail: [email protected]