BALTIMORE, Md., March 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian (NYSE: VAR) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) announced today they have reached their first educational milestone at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC): more than 150 medical professionals have now completed training to deliver proton therapy – an advanced form of cancer treatment.
"Since well before we treated our first patients at MPTC, we have worked with Varian to create a diverse range of educational offerings targeted at physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, and administrators from across the country and around the world," said Charles B. Simone, II, MD, medical director of MPTC and an associate professor of radiation oncology at UMSOM.
Over the past two years, MPTC has hosted professionals from the United States and 14 other countries. The center has offered:
- The Maryland Proton Clinical Course, open to physicians and physicists—an intensive one-week training program;
- Targeted clinical observation courses tailored to the needs of specific groups, including physicians, medical physicists and radiation therapists;
- Various visiting opportunities, including a two-day site program for radiation oncology professionals thinking about opening or preparing to new open centers.
These offerings, as well as informal visits, in addition to adjunct faculty training for nearby medical centers and radiation oncology practices, constitute the largest range of training opportunities and classes currently available for Varian proton therapy worldwide. MPTC is also planning a new dosimetry clinical school for Spring 2018.
What Participants Are Saying
"During our site visit, the team at Maryland Proton Treatment Center shared excellent advice, a wealth of information on all aspects of clinical and administrative operations, and best practices from facility startup to established center," said Mark McDonald, MD, medical director of the Emory Proton Therapy Center and associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. "It was an extremely productive and helpful visit for our whole team."
"It is hard to find any way to improve such a well-constructed program," said Rovel Colaco, MD, consultant in clinical oncology, Christie NHS Foundation Trust. "We felt so welcome and for us it was a fantastic experience. The Maryland center and staff should be proud, and I hope our center can be half as good."
MPTC was the first location in the Eastern United States to offer Varian ProBeam® image-guided intensity-modulated proton therapy and to include pencil-beam scanning in every treatment room. "Our work with Varian has enabled us to reach out beyond the Baltimore–Washington region to maximize the impact of MPTC and its technology," said Katja Langen, PhD, associate chief of proton physics at MPTC and professor of radiation oncology at UMSOM. "Onsite Varian support and collaboration is an essential part of both our clinical and educational programs, and we look forward to expanding our joint training efforts in the near future."
"This dedicated training is part of a larger plan to ensure that MPTC continues to be a world leader in the proton therapy community," said William F. Regine, MD, FACR, FACRO, Isadore and Fannie Schneider Foxman Chair of the UMSOM Department of Radiation Oncology and executive director of MPTC. "By opening these courses to the widest spectrum of U.S. and international participants, we are seeing new collaborative research opportunities and establishing long-term joint efforts. Many physicians who have come to MPTC for these courses and observation periods have sent us their challenging patients to care for while their own centers are being built."
"Education and training remain a vital component in the continued growth of proton therapy around the world," said Moataz Karmalawy, PhD, general manager of Varian's Particle Therapy division. "Partnering with leading institutions like MPTC will allow Varian customers to learn from those that have blazed the proton trail and will help those new programs to build successful proton therapy practices."
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System ("University of Maryland Medicine") has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact in excess of $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu/
Varian is a leader in developing and delivering cancer care solutions, and is focused on creating a world without fear of cancer. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Varian employs approximately 6,500 people around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com and follow @VarianMedSys on Twitter.
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