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RTS4021 - Radiation therapy planning and treatment 1

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms Caroline Wright


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit introduces the basic principles and practice for kilovoltage and megavoltage radiation therapy planning and treatment. Skin cancer, palliative treatment of unknown primaries and known metastatic disease and two common pelvic tumours (bladder and rectal cancer) are used as the context for this unit together with the relevant sites. Palliative intent will introduce a broad range of treatment sites and the pelvis tumours will address some relatively simple curative issues and techniques. Within each module safety issues, documentation standards and practices related to the particular disease will be covered.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate and communicate a broad and critical conceptual understanding of:

  1. Disease investigation and staging for carcinomas affecting the skin, bladder and rectum, bone and brain metastases and unknown primary tumours;
  2. Differences between palliative and curative intent and the implications of previous treatment;
  3. Selection between kilovoltage and megavoltage modalities and techniques;
  4. Patient positioning, and localisation methods required includiing identification of target/normal critical tissues, the implication of target organ where appropriate, imaging choices, patient measurement and contouring;
  5. Simple beam planning and shaping, plan production and dose calculation;
  6. Fabrication of treatment aids including bolus and blocks etc.;
  7. Treatment delivery including equipment checks, verification of the plan and all parameters, imaging dosimetry and recording;
  8. Early and late effects of treatment and follow up; and
  9. Relevant safety issues and documentation standards and practices.
  10. Lung, oesophagus and prostrate clinical sites
  11. Structural anatomy, lymphatic pathways and locomotor systems


1. 2 clinical action plans of approx 1500 words, and accompanying comparative reports of approx 1500 words (40%)
2. One 180 minute end of semester written examination (60%).


RTS4000, RTS4010