The CERN Accelerator School (CAS) and MedAustron jointly organised a course on Accelerators for Medical Applications in Vösendorf, Austria between 26 May and 5 June 2015. The course was held at the Eventhotel Pyramide on the outskirts of Vienna, and was attended by 76 participants from 29 countries, coming from as far away as Canada, China, Lithuania, Thailand, Ukraine and Russia.
The intensive programme comprised 37 lectures. The emphasis was on using charged particle beams for cancer therapy and the programme began by covering the way in which particles interact with biological material, how this translates into the dose needed for treatment and how this dose is best delivered. The different accelerator options for providing the particles needed were then presented in some detail. The production of radioisotopes and how these are used for diagnostics and therapy was also covered, together with a look at novel acceleration techniques that may play a role in the field in future. A case study exercise, for which 10 hours were allocated, completed the programme. For this the students were divided into small groups and worked on a task to design a facility for hadron therapy, presenting their results on the final day.
Feedback from the students was very positive, praising the expertise of the lecturers as well as the high standard and quality of their lectures.
In addition to the academic programme, the students had the opportunity to take part in an excursion to the Benedictine Monastery at Melk, combined with a boat trip on the River Danube and a typical Austrian evening at a “Heurigen”. An all-day visit to MedAustron, with talks in the morning and a tour of the facility in the afternoon, was also included in the programme.
Next year CAS will be organising a specialised course on "Free Electron Lasers and Energy Recovery Linacs" between 31 May and 10 June 2016, to be held in Hamburg, Germany in collaboration with DESY; an "Introduction to Accelerator Physics" course to be held in Turkey in the autumn and a second specialised course on "Injection and Extraction" to be held at CERN in early autumn.