International Medical Conference Hosted by UFPTI a Success

May 1, 2008

Jacksonville, Fla. (May 24, 2008) - This year's Particle Therapy Co-operative Group (PTCOG), hosted by the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute (UFPTI), exceeded expectations. On May 19-24, nearly 600 international physicians, physicists and other medical researchers met in Jacksonville, Florida to discuss advances in proton therapy for fighting cancer.

The conference commenced with Educational Sessions. From May 19-21, attendants discussed the latest advances in physics, technology and patient care using heavy particles. Cutting-edge topics filled the sessions to capacity, leaving standing room only.

The Honorable John Peyton, mayor of Jacksonville, opened the Scientific Session, which was held May 22-24, with a warm welcome to about 580 attendees. Over the course of two-and a-half days, conference attendees discussed 150 clinical presentations, 30 of which were presented orally, and the remainder presented by poster display. UFPTI physician William Mendenhall discussed his experience treating head and neck cancer while other staff members provided 12 posters presentations.

On May 23, approximately 400 attendees enjoyed a reception at UFPTI sponsored by IBA, manufacturer of the proton therapy equipment at UFPTI. Self-guided tours of the facility included the conventional radiation treatment area, simulation area, proton therapy treatment rooms, cyclotron, main control room, mold fabrication area, and post-anesthesia recovery room.

PTCOG is an association of physicians, medical physicists, dosimetrists, engineers and proton facility administrators involved in the application and research of radiation therapy that uses protons, light ions and heavy-charged particles to treat cancer and other diseases. Registered attendees come from 29 clinical facilities located in 23 countries including: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the U.S.

As the host facility, the UF Proton Therapy Institute was responsible for all aspects of the conference, including securing presenters, selecting the abstracts for presentation, and arranging all logistics. A team from the UF Proton Therapy Institute consisting of Mendenhall, Jatinder Palta, PhD, Zuofeng Li and Stuart Klein, directed the efforts.

Next year's PTCOG conference is scheduled to be held in Heidelberg, Germany.

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