Australasian Brachytherapy Group
ABG

Chairmans Report

 

The ABG is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote the exchange of scientific information in Brachytherapy and associated Radiation Physics and Radiobiology, maintain the highest standards of Brachytherapy practice and ethics, encourage research and clinical trials and set standards for education and practice for members.

We are a diverse organisation that includes radiation oncologists, physicists, radiation therapists, nurses and urologists.

The role of radiation over the last few years has expanded dramatically particularly in the area of prostate brachytherapy, 3D treatment planning for gynaecological cancers and the emerging role of breast brachytherapy. Our annual scientific meetings provide a forum for communication to our brachytherapy community in Australasia.

The Australasian Brachytherapy Group was established in 1996. We are in a strong financial position with the ability to engage in education and research projects. We aim to continue to use our Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) as the basis for scientific presentations however, we continue to expand our role in the area of education. Since the inaugural 1-day physics workshop following the ASM in 2010 we have developed a 4-day multi-disciplinary teaching course with hands-on training for radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation therapists. The workshops follow the RANZCR and ACPSEM TEAP training syllabuses and are open to those in training, those needing a refresher or anyone who would benefit from a series of didactic lectures from experts in the field and practical sessions including treatment planning, emergency training and contouring. In the future we hope to offer training fellowships and we are currently collaborating with the American Brachytherapy Society to align our training programs for mutual benefit. Keep an eye open for further details in the "Events" section of our website.

International collaboration has been established through a number of projects. This year we offered two scholarships to brachytherapy professionals in Papua New Guinea to attend the ABG workshop. The European BRAPHYQS Group provides a guest invitation to the ABG executive at its annual meetings at ESTRO and welcomes participation in many of its projects. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine also includes ABG representatives in its brachytherapy Task Groups, in particular Task Group 186 that is developing recommendations for commissioning advanced planning algorithms in brachytherapy.

Membership to the ABG allows significant discounts at our Annual Scientific Meeting as well as an electronic newsletter which provides an opportunity to keep our members in touch with latest developments in brachytherapy, news of upcoming events and results of research projects conducted by our members. Members also have access to the "members only" section of the website providing quick access to contact details of all members. We welcome all those who wish to become a member and actively participate in this group.

A/Prof Annette Haworth
Chairman Australasian Brachytherapy Group
May 2014