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      Polish Brachytherapy Society – Presidential opening : Chasing Brachytherapy

      , MD, PhD

      Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy

      Termedia Publishing House

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          Abstract

          Dear Friends, Colleagues, Readers, I have been elected as president of the Polish Brachytherapy Society (PBS). It is a great honour for me to continue the work of the late Professor Janusz Skowronek. He seemed to be indispensable and invincible in his quest to establish the role of brachytherapy, especially in modern Polish oncology. He conceived the idea and founded the “Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy”. He also established the Polish Brachytherapy Society, which he supervised until his sudden death. Personally and professionally, I am a 39-year-old radiation oncologist, but you can call me a brachytherapy aficionado. I work in Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology (Gliwice, Poland). After five years of work in the Radiotherapy Department, I moved to the Brachytherapy Department. I earned my PhD degree (Schwannoma Radiosurgery) in 2013. In 2017 I became head of the Brachytherapy Department. My main fields of interest are prostate cancer, skin cancer and head and neck tumours. I have a great interest in fraction doses beyond the linear-quadratic model. Common Polish people are not in a good situation in terms of cancer treatment. According to a report presented by the Polish Supreme Chamber of Control (the highest audit institution in Poland), there are one hundred thousand cancer deaths annually [1]. Cancer mortality is the third highest in the European Union, while cancer morbidity is well below average. Availability of modern cancer treatment is slowly improving, but treatment outcomes are still suboptimal. The Polish Brachytherapy Society must work hard for substantial change. Data show that brachytherapy is critical to treat many cancers successfully [2,3,4,5,6,7]. We need clear recommendations on how to treat with all brachytherapy techniques and schedules. There are centres which are well equipped with clear protocols, a wide range of procedures and scientific roots. However, there are centres where enthusiastic, often young physicians, physicists and other staff struggle to treat patients with brachytherapy. We have to team up to have national protocols, like our friends from India [8]. We have to do our jobs in GEC ESTRO. We have to analyze, write and share our research. We have to teach each other and learn from each other. There are several societies worldwide which keep brachytherapy vibrant and modern. In my opinion, we should gather together for better clinical practice and understanding. Next year the World Congress of Brachytherapy will be held in Vienna. I hope that the Polish community will establish new forms of cooperation to treat better and more efficiently. Moreover, in the latter part of the year, we will organize the PBS biannual conference. It will be held in September 2020 in Katowice, Poland. The topic of the meeting is Brachytherapy as a part of interdisciplinary oncology. This will be a great opportunity not only for the presentation of methods, schedules and results, but also to meet experts from various fields of cancer treatment. Brachytherapy needs more recognition among patients and specialists. It is one of the most significant challenges for the upcoming years. While the Polish brachytherapy community has suffered from the loss of Janusz, I know his trainees, and I know many others who want to raise brachytherapy to the highest level possible. Piotr Wojcieszek, MD, PhDPresident Elect of Polish Brachytherapy SocietyHead of the Brachytherapy DepartmentMSC Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice BranchCo-Editor in JCBe-mail: piotr.wojcieszek@io.gliwice.pl

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          Most cited references 7

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          The emerging role of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as monotherapy for prostate cancer

          High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as monotherapy is a comparatively new brachytherapy procedure for prostate cancer. In addition to the intrinsic advantages of brachytherapy, including radiation dose concentration to the tumor and rapid dose fall-off at the surrounding normal tissue, HDR brachytherapy can yield a more homogeneous and conformal dose distribution through image-based decisions for source dwell positions and by optimization of individual source dwell times. Indication can be extended even to T3a/b or a part of T4 tumors because the applicators can be positioned at the extracapsular lesion, into the seminal vesicles, and/or into the bladder, without any risk of source migration or dropping out. Unlike external beam radiotherapy, with HDR brachytherapy inter-/intra-fraction organ motion is not problematic. However, HDR monotherapy requires patients to stay in bed for 1–4 days during hospitalization, even though the actual overall treatment time is short. Recent findings that the α/β value for prostate cancer is less than that for the surrounding late-responding normal tissue has made hypofractionation attractive, and HDR monotherapy can maximize this advantage of hypofractionation. Research on HDR monotherapy is accelerating, with a growing number of publications reporting excellent preliminary clinical results due to the high ‘biologically effective dose (BED)’ of >200 Gy. Moreover, the findings obtained for HDR monotherapy as an early model of extreme hypofractionation tend to be applied to other radiotherapy techniques such as stereotactic radiotherapy. All these developments point to the emerging role of HDR brachytherapy as monotherapy for prostate cancer.
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            American Brachytherapy Society Task Group Report: Combination of brachytherapy and external beam radiation for high-risk prostate cancer

            To review outcomes for high-risk prostate cancer treated with combined modality radiation therapy (CMRT) utilizing external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with a brachytherapy boost.
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              Modern Brachytherapy

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Contemp Brachytherapy
                J Contemp Brachytherapy
                JCB
                Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
                Termedia Publishing House
                1689-832X
                2081-2841
                30 October 2019
                October 2019
                : 11
                : 5
                Affiliations
                President Elect of Polish Brachytherapy Society Head of the Brachytherapy Department MSC Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch Co-Editor in JCB, e-mail: piotr.wojcieszek@ 123456io.gliwice.pl
                Article
                38446
                10.5114/jcb.2019.89381
                6854867
                Copyright: © 2019 Termedia Sp. z o. o.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

                Categories
                Letter from the President Elect

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

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