From 14 to 16 March, 2015, over 100 attendees from 30 different IBA-supplied proton therapy centers gathered at the radiation oncology department of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for IBA’s fourth annual user meeting.

These meetings bring IBA staff and users together to support each other in a common goal: to eradicate cancer with the help of proton therapy. They offer clinicians and physicists from all over the world the ultimate opportunity to interact with peers and reflect together with IBA on how proton therapy can be further advanced. In an open atmosphere, all attendees are encouraged to express concerns, offer suggestions for improvement, share positive as well as negative experiences and collaboratively seek solutions to overcome obstacles. Users are generally surprised and impressed by the degree of openness and transparency during this meeting. IBA creates the ideal circumstances to bring about the kind of communication that has the potential to advance proton therapy and the application of this radiation therapy modality at a much faster pace.

Day one of the meeting focused on the experiences, best practices and challenges for the current Proteus®PLUS and Proteus®ONE systems; day two switched to the clinical practice; and day three concluded with a technology preview. Input from users included concerns about the uniformity of expertise levels across local IBA support teams in the event of personnel assignment changes, and suggestions for a separate slot at the next user meeting for physicists and clinicians to allow for more exhaustive discussions on each field of expertise. "For IBA, our customers’ feedback is incredibly valuable,” says Jean-Marc Andral, President Strategic Marketing, Proton Therapy, at IBA. “The user meeting offers a unique opportunity to set different viewpoints side by side, confront and align the practical knowledge of us as manufacturers and physicians and clinicians as users, as we each experience proton therapy in a different way.” In his closing notes, CEO Olivier Legrain underscored the importance of such close collaboration and IBA’s intention to continue offering first-rate service and to focus on development and intensive training to move, together with its customers, in the right direction. With these words in mind, IBA users and staff alike went home enthused, with their batteries charged for the year to come.


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