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Aula Inaugural Pedro da Rocha Andrade 2018/2: Proton Therapy in Latin America (Gustavo A. Santa Cruz – National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina)
21 de agosto de 2018:16:00 - 17:30
PROTON THERAPY IN LATIN AMERICA
Gustavo A. Santa Cruz
Head of the Boron Neutron Capture Therapy Department and Manager of Research and
Development in Nuclear Applications to Health, National Atomic Energy Commission of
Proton therapy is the most advanced radiotherapy modality that employs an external beam of high energy protons for the treatment of solid tumors, with high effectiveness and low toxicity in healthy tissue. Currently, the level of scientific evidence justifies the use of proton therapy for an increasing number of indications, amounting to about 30 cancer patients per million habitants per year. Pathologies in which proton therapy has shown a clear therapeutic advantage over other treatment modalities comprise, among others, pediatric cancer, advanced head and neck cancer, ocular cancer, base of the skull tumors, primary hepatocellular carcinomas, paranasal sinuses, primary or metastatic tumors of the spine and reirradiation cases. Only in Argentina and in a year, around 300 pediatric patients with tumors of the central nervous system would greatly benefit from proton therapy, and around 1300 patients considering all the above mentioned pathologies. Besides, more than 6000 patients would benefit from proton therapy in Brazil alone.
Contrasting with photon techniques which have already reached a technological and scientific plateau, charged-particle therapies offer the possibility to evolve further by performing clinically-oriented research and development in all the associated technical and scientific aspects, in engineering and technology, computing and imaging, physics, radiobiology, among others, including the implementation of pre-clinical trials with animals. Likewise, it is important to design and implement new clinical research protocols for candidate pathologies to be treated with protons, where there is no effective therapeutic option to date.
In this talk we will describe the physics of clinical proton beams, the dedicated machines and facilities, the clinical aspects, the different irradiation techniques, the uncertainties associated with dose delivery, the radiobiological aspects and the state of the art of clinical research in proton therapy. We will also present the future argentine proton therapy center, its characteristics, infrastructure, organizational concepts and clinical and scientific prospects.
Gustavo Santa Cruz has obtained his PhD degree in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires. He has worked as research associate at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. He is currently coordinator of the Boron Neutron Capture Therapy project and coordinator for CNEA of the Proton Therapy project. His specialty is radiation biophysics, working in this area for more than 20 years, also covering research topics in dosimetry and theoretical, computational and experimental microdosimetry. He investigates the use of dynamic infrared thermography in medical and biological applications.