The staff from the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in Shreveport, LA, USA, was not only the very first team to follow the Proton Therapy Clinical Education Program (a joint effort of Penn Medicine’s Roberts Proton Therapy Center, OncoLink and IBA) - their training program also differed from the usual schedule, as Willis-Knighton Health System (WKHS) will be the very first site to treat patients with IBA’s compact Proteus®ONE system.

“We focused our educational experience on Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS),” says Dr. Lane Rosen, director of radiation oncology at WKHS. “In preparation, our team members did a series of online modules… about twenty well-crafted, comprehensive 30 to 60 minute video lectures created by experts at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in various subspecialties of radiation oncology, addressing the issues you may encounter in this advanced kind of therapy.”

This online education was followed by onsite training at Penn in Philadelphia, USA. “There, our team divided into several categories,” Dr. Rosen continues. “The physicians learned about the clinic from other clinicians, went to conferences and discussed cases. The physicists concentrated on commissioning, acceptance and quality assurance. The therapists got loads of hands-on experience working with the radiation technicians at the machine, witnessing cases being done, seeing the set-up, the immobilization devices, etc. The dosimetrists witnessed how simulations were performed, how the Penn team managed issues like bladder filling and treatment planning. Everyone rotated through each of these sections while balancing out the schedule in favor of their own expertise.”

In a third stage, the Penn team will visit the Shreveport site to help with the initial ramp-up and to make sure things go smoothly during initial patient care.


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