From 6-10 February 2012, over 220 participants from 30 countries worldwide convened at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) for the Annual Meeting of the European Radiation Dosimetry Group (EURADOS). The IAEA Radiation Safety Section and the Seibersdorf Laboratories in Austria co-organized this key event for the radiation dosimetry community.
At the week-long meeting, participants attended sessions and workshops on aspects of dosimetry in ionizing radiation.
"The activities of EURADOS cover many areas of dosimetry of ionizing radiation," said Mr. Helmut Schuhmacher, chairperson of EURADOS. "The main work is done in working groups that tackle different questions, such as open scientific issues, but also issues of harmonization of procedures in Europe and on an international basis."
The main workshop for this year's meeting was dedicated to the topic of Dosimetry for Second Cancer Risk Estimation in Radiotherapy and discussed the risk of developing a second tumor after radiotherapy.
"This form of therapy saves thousands of lives every year," explained Mr. Schuhmacher.
However, in order to maximize its benefits, experts need to determine and minimize the risks that arise from exposing the surrounding tissue to radiation.
"For this purpose, collaboration between dosimetry specialists is essential," he said. "We have developed measurement procedures and the first results indicate which kind of treatment leads to a lower exposure of surrounding tissue."
The IAEA is a long-term partner of EURADOS. The IAEA Radiation Safety Section is a voting member of the association and supports its network. The two organizations also participate in intercomparisons, a method used to compare quality at measurement laboratories. The IAEA also provides some financial support and ccoperates in EURADOS training activities.
"We participate in training courses organized by EURADOS and we are also very interested to have experts from EURADOS participate in the training courses that we organize for our Member States," added Renate Czarwinski, Head of the IAEA Radiation Safety and Monitoring Section.
EURADOS is a network of more than 50 European institutions and over 200 scientists, mostly in Europe, working in the areas of dosimetry of ionizing radiation. The organization supports the collaboration between experts and European laboratories and organizes working groups in the field.
Dosimetry is used in the fields of radiation protection and medical physics and deals with the measurement and calculation of radiation dose in a body.