International Symposium on Standards and Codes of Practice in Medical Radiation Dosimetry

Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency

Co-sponsored by the European Commission (Directorate-General Environment), European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, International Organization for Medical Physics, Pan American Health Organization

In co-operation with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics, International Society for Radiation Oncology, World Health Organization

Vienna, Austria, 25-28 November 2002

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Information on Logistics
Preliminary Programme
Hotels, Hotel Reservation Form


  2. The development of radiation measurement standards by National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and their dissemination to Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDLs), cancer therapy centres and hospitals represent essential aspects of the radiation dosimetry measurement chain. Although the demands for accuracy in radiotherapy initiated the establishment of such measurement chains, similar traceable dosimetry procedures have been implemented, or are being developed, in other areas of radiation medicine (e.g. diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine), in radiation protection and in industrial applications of radiation.

    In the past few years the development of primary standards of absorbed dose to water in 60Co for radiotherapy dosimetry has made direct calibrations in terms of absorbed dose to water available in many countries for the first time. Some laboratories have extended the development of these standards to high energy photon and electron beams and to low and medium energy x-ray beams. Other countries, however, still base their dosimetry for radiotherapy on air kerma standards.

    Dosimetry for conventional external beam radiotherapy was probably the field where standardized procedures adopted by medical physicists at hospitals were developed first. Those were related to exposure and air kerma standards. The recent development of Codes of Practice (or protocols) based on the concept of absorbed dose to water has led to changes in calibration procedures at hospitals. The International Code of Practice for Dosimetry Based on Standards of Absorbed Dose to Water (TRS 398) was sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Health Organization (WHO), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO) and is expected to be adopted in many countries worldwide. It provides recommendations for the dosimetry of all types of beams (except neutrons) used in external radiotherapy and satisfies the requirements of international and national regulatory bodies for patient safety.

    A culture of quality assurance and the need for scientific exchange at the international level have extended the requirements for standardization to many other areas. These include radiotherapy with heavy charged particles, brachytherapy, diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. A major advance in radiotherapy over the past few years has been the growing use of proton and heavy ion irradiation facilities for cancer therapy. The increased use of brachytherapy, including the new application of intravascular brachytherapy, has resulted in the development of new standards and codes of practice in this area. In diagnostic radiology, including computed tomography (CT), mammography and interventional procedures, the awareness of the importance of dose reduction to the patient has also lead to the development of codes of practice. In the field of nuclear medicine there is a need to increase the dissemination of standards and the development of international recommendations for dosimetry procedures. Every year there are several regional or international meetings on radiation physics applied to medicine or related areas. A meeting focused exclusively on dosimetry gives the unique opportunity to review in depth the developments and trends in this continuously changing field. By organizing this Symposium the IAEA maintains its longstanding tradition of disseminating knowledge, promoting expertise and supporting international co-operation in radiation dosimetry.

  4. The Symposium will provide a forum where advances in radiation dosimetry during the past decade, not only in external beam radiotherapy but also in other areas of radiation medicine, can be disseminated and scientific knowledge exchanged. It will include areas that have been developed recently (e.g. intravascular therapy and hadron dosimetry), together with classic areas where the standardization of dosimetry may not have reached a mature stage (e.g. diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine). It will also summarize the present status and outline future trends in medical radiation dosimetry and identify possible areas for improvement. Its conclusions and summaries should lead to the formulation of recommendations for the scientific community.

  6. The Symposium is addressed to a broad spectrum of medical physicists and other scientists working in radiation dosimetry with responsibilities in the following fields: radiation metrology, external beam radiotherapy with photons, electrons and hadrons, brachytherapy including intravascular techniques, diagnostic radiology including CT, mammography and interventional procedures, and nuclear medicine.

    The Symposium will give an opportunity for scientists in medical institutions, research centres and standards laboratories to meet for discussions covering the entire dosimetry chain.

  8. The opening session will include welcoming addresses by representatives of the IAEA and co-sponsoring organizations, as well as keynote lectures on radiation dosimetry in the context of the international metrology system and the dissemination chain through codes of practice.

    A series of topical sessions will then cover selected topics relating to medical radiation dosimetry. One or more keynote speakers will address each topical session, which will be moderated by two chairpersons. The chairpersons will summarize the session and the related poster exhibition. They will prepare the recommendations for the concluding session. In addition to the topical sessions there will be one or more special sessions addressing topics of special interest.

    At the concluding session the topical session chairpersons will present their summaries which should lead to the formulation of recommendations for the scientific community.

  10. The subjects covered in the topical sessions will comprise:

    • Standards of absorbed dose to water: the status of existing standards for dosimetry in radiotherapy, the development of new standards, comparisons of primary and secondary standards. Radiation source types: 60Co, high energy photons, electrons, low and medium energy x-rays, hadrons (neutrons, protons and heavy ions), brachytherapy sources including beta emitters.

    • Standards of air kerma: the status of existing standards for dosimetry in radiotherapy and diagnostic radiology, the development of new standards, comparisons of primary and secondary standards. Radiation source types: 60Co, low and medium energy x-rays (diagnostics, therapy), brachytherapy gamma sources.

    • Codes of practice and protocols for external beam radiotherapy dosimetry: dose determination in reference conditions, national and international protocols, implementation at the SSDL and clinical level, comparisons between ND,w and NK based protocols, new developments in ion chamber dosimetry. Radiation source types: 60Co, high-energy photons, electrons, low and medium energy x-rays, hadrons (neutrons, protons and heavy ions).

    • Codes of practice for brachytherapy dosimetry: source characterization, the calibration and dosimetry of brachytherapy sources including intravascular brachytherapy applications, instrumentation.

    • Codes of practice for diagnostic radiology dosimetry: diagnostic radiology dosimetry under reference conditions and in phantoms including mammography, CT and interventional radiology.

    • Transfer dosimetry: measurements in non-reference conditions, relative dosimetry, interface dosimetry. Detectors: ion chambers, thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs), alanine, gel, film, diodes, MOSFETs, scintillators, well-type chambers, diamonds, etc.

    • Dosimetry quality audits: the verification of reference and non-reference radiotherapy dosimetry, national and international dosimetry quality audit networks, postal and on-site based dosimetry quality audits; TLDs and other detectors.

    • Radiation dosimetry for advanced radiotherapy applications: dosimetry procedures for the use of dynamic wedges, multileaf collimators (MLC), intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), dosimetry using electronic portal imaging devices (EPID), dosimetry of narrow beams, intra-operative radiotherapy (IORT), monitor unit calculations.

    • Dosimetry in nuclear medicine: the development of laboratory metrology standards, internal dosimetry, radioimmunotherapy dosimetry.

    • Monte Carlo calculations in medical radiation dosimetry (all topics).

  12. Concise papers on issues falling within the topics under Section 5 may be submitted as contributions to the Symposium. All papers, apart from invited review papers, must present original work; they should not have been published elsewhere.

    Deadline for submission

    A completed Form for Submission of a Paper (see attached Form B), together with the Participation Form (see attached Form A) and two copies of 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) must be sent to the competent national authority for official transmission to the IAEA by 15 March 2002 (see Section 15 below). Contributions submitted after the deadline cannot be considered.

    In addition, this extended synopsis should also be sent either via the web page ( or by e-mail to the Scientific Secretary, Ken R. Shortt (

    The synopsis should give enough information on the contents of the proposed paper to enable the selection committee to evaluate it. Introductory and general matters should not be included. The synopsis, if accepted, will be reproduced in unedited form in the Book of Extended Synopses; therefore, the original must be submitted as camera-ready copy in the form that the author will wish to have the work presented. The general style and presentation should be as in the attached sample. The extended synopsis and the paper itself should be prepared using commonly available word processing software. The IAEA uses Microsoft Word. In the letter of transmittal the author should note the specific software used.

    Acceptance of Papers for Oral Presentation and Poster Presentation

    Given the number of papers anticipated and the need to provide ample time for discussion, the number of papers that can be accepted for oral presentation is limited. Authors who would prefer to present their papers in a poster session are requested to indicate this preference in their letters conveying the extended synopses.

    Shortly after the Paper Selection Meeting in May 2002 the authors will be informed whether their papers/posters have been accepted for presentation on the basis of the extended synopsis. Guidelines for the preparation of the papers/posters and further details concerning the oral presentations at the Symposium will be provided at that time. The deadline for the submission of the full papers is 13 September 2002, thereby allowing authors three months from the time of acceptance of the synopsis to prepare the full paper. Papers submitted after this deadline will be removed from the programme. The IAEA, however, reserves the right to refuse the presentation or publication of any paper that does not meet the expectations based on the information as originally submitted in the extended synopsis.

  14. All persons wishing to participate in the meeting are requested to complete a Participation Form (Form A) and send it as soon as possible to the competent national authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) 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 by 13 September 2002.

    Participants whose designations have been received by the IAEA will be notified directly two to three months before the meeting.

  16. No registration fee is charged to participants.

    As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay the cost of attendance, that is travel and living expenses, of participants. However, limited funds are available to help meet the cost of the attendance of selected specialists mainly from Member States eligible to receive technical assistance under the IAEA's Technical Co-operation Programme. Generally, not more than one grant will 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 15 March 2002,
    (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 awarded will be in the form of lump sums and will usually cover only part of the cost of attendance.


    The Proceedings, which will be published by the IAEA after the Symposium, will contain the welcoming addresses, the keynote presentations, the contributed papers presented at the Meeting, the chairpersons' summaries and the Symposium's conclusions. The Proceedings can be ordered, at a discount price, during the Symposium, and will be made available after the Symposium at full price.


    The Symposium will take place at the IAEA, Vienna, Austria.

    The working language of the meeting will be English. All communications sent to the IAEA should be in English.

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

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

  22. Detailed information on accommodation and other information of interest will be sent to all designated participants well in advance of the meeting.

  23. VISAS
  24. 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 within the European Union and therefore persons who require a visa will have to apply for a Schengen Visa. The time required by Austrian officials to process visa applications can be two weeks or more; applicants are advised to secure the visa well in advance of the Symposium; at least 21 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, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.]

  26. The address of the Secretariat is:

    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Vienna International Centre
    Wagramer Strasse 5
    P.O. Box 100
    A-1400 Vienna, Austria

    Telephone No.: (+43-1) 2600 (0) plus extension
    Telefax No.: (+43-1) 26007
    Electronic mail:

    The Scientific Secretary of the Symposium is Ken R. Shortt, Head, Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics Section, Division of Human Health (telephone no. +43 1 2600/ext. 21664 or 21662; e-mail address: Symposium organization is provided by Regina Perricos, Conference Service Section, Division of Conference and Document Services (telephone no. +43 1 2600/ext. 21315 or 21311; e-mail address:

  28. The Participation Form (Form A) and the Form for the Submission of a Paper (Form B), together with two copies of each synopsis, and, if applicable, the Grant Application Form (Form C), should be sent to the competent national authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for official 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 Service Section.

  30. The Symposium web page addresses are:

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