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Nuclear Techniques to Fight Cancer: IAEA Experts at ESTRO 2014 Congress

IAEA supports development of nuclear techniques for cancer treatments and oncology. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

The IAEA participated in the 33rd Congress on Radiation Oncology hosted by the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO), a leading European organization in the field of radiation oncology. The ESTRO 33 Congress was held in Vienna from 4 to 8 April 2014.

The Congress is an annual event that brings together scientists, researchers and medical practitioners from across the globe. The event serves as a platform for knowledge exchange and discussions on cancer treatment and radiation oncology, which is a primary treatment for cancer using radiation. The IAEA has worked closely with ESTRO for over thirty years, supporting the exchange of knowledge and facilitating the use of nuclear technology in cancer treatment. Together, the IAEA and ESTRO provide training and education as well as research and dissemination of science related to nuclear technology and cancer.

ESTRO 33 included lectures, poster sessions and symposiums covering a range of issues, from individualized cancer treatment approaches and new technologies to cancer research and safety and quality of treatment methods. The IAEA played an active role in the Congress, explaining the mandate and work of the Agency in the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology through symposia, presentations, poster sessions and the distribution of information materials. The Congress' opening ceremony featured Rethy Chhem, Director of the IAEA Division of Human Health (NAHU), as a keynote speaker on the topic "Combating Global Cancer Through an Effective Radiation Medicine Education."

A joint Symposium on "ESTRO-PROS-IAEA Radiotherapy of Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumours in Children" was co-chaired by Eduardo Rosenblatt of NAHU. The Symposium addressed open questions related to radiotherapy of paediatric CNS tumours. In another session, Eduardo Zubizarreta, also of NAHU, presented an explanation of how cost estimations for developing radiotherapy services are calculated.

Among the IAEA posters presented, a collaborative poster on "Short Course vs. Standard Course Radiotherapy, in Elderly and/or Fragile Patients With Glioblastoma Multiforme", won the Best Clinical Poster Award. The poster was based on an IAEA coordinated research project (CRP) led by Ms. Elena Fidarova of NAHU.

The Agency also presented and distributed outreach materials, including information focusing on the IAEA Technical Cooperation programme and work in the areas of human health.


IAEA, Cancer and Partnerships: The IAEA plays a key role in the international fight against cancer, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) calculates that over 8 million people died from cancer in 2012, and estimates that the number of cancer cases could increase from 14 million to 24 million over the next twenty years.


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