|Year : 2009 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 227-229
Department of Radiation Oncology, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
|Date of Web Publication||29-Sep-2009|
Department of Radiation Oncology, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ganesh T. News. J Med Phys 2009;34:227-9
SmartCards Track Radiation Doses in Patients
Although monitoring of radiation workers is in standard practice for several decades now, there is no internationally accepted methodology to track and keep record of the long-term radiation exposure of the individual patient. Concern on the increasing use of radiation for diagnostic purposes, particularly amongst children, and the patient's right to information about his/her radiation exposure have initiated some activity in this direction.
A smart medical card, containing complete medical history and records, for every individual patient is an ongoing project in western countries. It is now planned to extend this concept to include details of all radiation exposure of the patient in diagnostic and interventional procedures. The smart card project will utilize e-health resources as vehicles for adding radiation dose information.
Recent Publications of Interest from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Cyclotron Produced Radionuclides: Guidelines for Setting up a Facility
Technical Reports Series No. 471
This publication gives comprehensive guidelines for the planning and decision making processes, design and implementation of a cyclotron based radionuclide production facility.
Quality Assurance for PET and PET/CT Systems
Human Health Series No. 1
This publication provides guidelines for the implementation of quality assurance and control programs concerning the combined medical diagnostic modality of positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT). This publication establishes guidelines for acceptance testing and routine quality control as necessary for optimal clinical performance. Specific topics of discussion include frameworks for reference values, tolerances and action levels, minimal required configurations with corresponding performances characteristics, and the management of ancillary equipment.
Therapeutic Radionuclide Generators: 90Sr/90Y and 188W/188Re Generators
Technical Reports Series No. 470
Radionuclide generators are a cost effective and efficient means to enhance the availability of short lived radioisotopes used in medicine and industry. This publication presents technologies for the development of 90Sr/90Y and 188W/188Re generator systems and provides details about the analytical methods that are used for evaluating the radionuclides to be used for basic research and radiopharmaceuticals preparation.
Establishing Guidance Levels in X Ray Guided Medical Interventional Procedures: A Pilot Study
Safety Reports Series No. 59
The number of interventional procedures guided by x-ray imaging is increasing every year. Given the medical necessity of these procedures, it is vital that public confidence in these techniques is not undermined by the adverse consequences of high radiation doses. Guidance levels have proved to be a useful tool for optimization in general radiography, since they provide the opportunity of comparing the radiation doses that radiologists deliver to patients with those of their colleagues.
Calibration of Reference Dosimeters for External Beam Radiotherapy
Technical Reports Series No. 469
This publication is intended to support physicists working in the field of radiotherapy dosimetry, both in standards laboratories involved in the calibration of dosimeters and in clinical centers and hospitals where external beam radiotherapy is utilized. The report fulfils the need for an internationally unified approach to the calibration of ionization chambers in terms of air kerma and absorbed dose to water in the low and medium energy X ray and cobalt-60 beams used for external beam radiotherapy. This publication also includes the most recent international guidance on quality management systems applicable to standards laboratories.
New Oral Agents May Prevent Injury after Radiation Exposure
Researchers in Boston University School of Medicine and collaborators have discovered a class of new compounds, collectively called the "EUK-400 series," which could potentially prevent radiation related injuries to the kidneys, lungs, skin and intestinal tract. The compounds can be administered orally in the form of a pill. These agents are novel synthetic "antioxidants" that protect tissues against the kind of damage caused by free radicals including those caused by radiation exposure. Researchers are developing agents that prevent injury even when given after the radiation exposure.
These same BUSM researchers and collaborators had previously discovered novel synthetic antioxidants that effectively mitigate radiation injuries, but had to be given by injection. Though these injectible antioxidants are very effective, there has been a desire to have agents that can be given orally. A pill would be more feasible than an injection to treat large numbers of people in an emergency scenario like radiological terrorism.
From: The Times of India dated July 14, 2009 and http://www.bumc.bu.edu/busm-news (Accessed July 14, 2009)
Radiation detectors installed at Pakistan sea ports
The United States is installing radiation detectors at Pakistani ports to check proliferation of nuclear material and weapons of mass destruction to and from the country.
From: The Times of India dated July 17, 2009
WHO's World Alliance for Patient Safety Addresses Radiation Therapy Patient Safety Issues
Alarmed by increasing reports of harm to patients caused by radiotherapy from all over the world, the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety sponsored a review of three decades of documented radiation therapy patient safety incidents, adverse events, near misses, and errors. A research team reviewed all information published in peer-review journals, conference proceedings, working papers, organizational reports, and local, national, and international databases to identify all reported anomalies during radiation therapy procedures between 1976 and 2007. The findings were published in the July issue of Radiotherapy and Oncology (2009, Vol. 92:1, pp. 15-21).
The WHO had earlier published a technical manual on radiotherapy risk profile which gives an assessment of the extent of harm caused by radiotherapy internationally. WHO hoped that the manual would assist regulatory agencies, hospitals and individual departments to recognize and understand, with clarity, the radiotherapy risks.
http://www.auntminnie.com (Accessed July 22, 2009)
Protein Secreted by Human Body can Destroy Cancer
Dr. Vivek Rangnekar, Professor of Radiation Medicine at the University of Kentucky has discovered that the Par-4 protein (a mass killer of cancer cells) is produced within the human body itself and spreads through circulation to distant organs. Scientists can now explore ways to naturally increase the secretion of the protein, for example, by certain natural diets and develop resistance to the growth of cancer. Par-4 molecule binds to its receptor GRP78 on the surface of a tumor cell and then triggers a biological process called apoptosis or cell suicide, killing the cancer cells.
Experiments on mice have proven that the Par-4 protein killed only cancer cells sparing normal ones. The presence of large amounts of the Par-4 protein had made them completely immune to cancer. The next step would be to test the same on human cancer..
Until now scientists believed that the protein has to be present inside the cancer cells to kill them. Dr. Rangnekar's team has found that the Par-4 protein is capable of killing cancer cells even when applied from outsidel. It means scientists can work out approaches to safely inject the Par-4 protein to inhibit cancer.
From: The Times of India, July 25, 2009
Work Pressure Causes Severe Over Exposure of Industrial Radiographer
In July 2009, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) was informed of a radiation incident in which a radiographer employed in a sugar mill picked up an Ir-192 source assembly (60 Ci activity) by hand and put it back into the gamma ray projector in May, 2009. The wounds healed, In July, following erythema and blistering within days of the incident. The victim has been sent for further medical investigation and treatment. The dose to the hands (extremities) was estimated to be between 25~30 Sv.
It was subsequently found that the worker, under work pressure, violated the procedures and ignored safety devices. The company was served with a work stoppage notice and further enforcement actions are being taken against it. The event was reported to IAEA in August 2009.
From: www-news.iaea.org/news (Accessed August 7, 2009)
Radiation Oncologists in US Oppose Proposed Changes in Reimbursement for Radiation Therapy Treatment
In its efforts to ensure that payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), earlier this year, proposed to reduce reimbursement for radiation therapy treatments as part of its Medicare physician fee schedule to be implemented with effect from January, 2010.
Related organizations like the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), and other professional societies are lobbying furiously through radio talk shows, newspapers, contacting state legislators, congressional delegations to oppose the CMS proposal. They believe that the proposed cuts would have devastating effects on radiation therapy providers forcing many centers to curtail some of the services they provide or even to close. The impact will be felt by all of the more than one million individuals who receive radiation treatment each year for cancer in the U.S.
The CMS is requesting comments on its proposed changes through August 31, 2009.
www.auntminnie.com (Accessed August 27, 2009)
The highly successful image gently campaign was launched by alliance for radiation safety in pediatric imaging sometime ago. The alliance has now rolled out another campaign titled "step lightly" encouraging the interventional radiology providers to "step lightly" and use the lowest dose necessary to perform interventional procedures on children. It has developed easily accessible online teaching material and checklists that are now freely available on its website www.imagegently.org. These include slide presentations, checklists, and outline of dose reduction and quality maintenance steps.
Calendar of Events
30 th Annual Conference of Association of Medical Physicists of India (AMPI) - "ADVANCES IN MEDICAL PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY FOR CONFORMAL DOSE DELIVERY IN CANCER". The conference is being hosted jointly by MNJ Institute of Oncology& RCC, Hyderabad and AMPI, AP-Chapter
Meeting Dates: 22 nd - 25 th November 2009
For more details, log on to:
MCTP 2009 - 2nd European Workshop on Monte Carlo Treatment Planning
Place: Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Meeting Dates: 19 to 21 Nov 2009
Last date for submission of abstract: To be announced
For more details, logon to:
International Conference on Modern Radiotherapy: Challenges and Advances in Radiation Protection of Patients
Place: Paris, France
Meeting Dates: 2 to 4 Dec 2009
Organizers: World Health Organization; European Commission; French Society of Radiation Oncology; French Society of Medical Physics.
For more details, logon to: