Interview with Monica Buijs, chair of the ESTRO 2024

Radiation TherapisT (RTT) track

PDF Version

Are there specific discussions or debates within the radiation therapist (RTT) track that you believe will be particularly thought-provoking and valuable for the attendees?

There is a pitch session on Sunday morning at 08.00 to inspire RTTs to join a global RTT research network that will enable them to bridge research gaps, reach out to each other and share knowledge and experience. We envisage the network will unleash the potential of RTT research worldwide.

We hope that our debate on Sunday will give some final answers about the role of abdominal compression as a motion management strategy from a clinical and patient perspective. There have always been a lot of pros and cons regarding this strategy, which the debaters will address in their talks. Maybe they can convince the audience either to embrace or to discard abdominal compression as motion management strategy.


Which topics received the largest number of abstracts?

The topics that attracted the largest numbers of abstracts were: 1/ Patient care, preparation, immobilisation and image-guided radiation therapy verification protocols; 2/ RTT education, training, advanced practice and role developments; and 3/ RTT treatment planning, organs-at-risk and target definitions.


Can you discuss practical aspects or techniques that will be highlighted in the RTT track to enhance the skills and knowledge of RTTs in the field?

One topic that will be highlighted is the role of RTTs in the management of treatment-related toxicities, methods to report these toxicities and other methods that can be used to evaluate patient experience and the quality of their lives. Besides this, there is a very interesting session on innovations in the treatment of gynaecological cancers, but also rarer cancer sites that require more personalised treatment will receive a podium this year. Next to this, we have to become aware of how cultural sensitivities and global issues impact RTT practice and how we should adapt, which will also be addressed in the RTT track.


What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in the evolving role of radiation therapists, and how is the RTT track addressing these issues?

RTTs develop in their own practices, which will largely be demonstrated in sessions such as innovations in daily practice, the latest advances in motion management and innovations in patient positioning. But some new technologies are arising or old ones are altered, and these changes require RTTs to develop themselves in other domains. The RTT track contains a lot of examples of innovations and novelties such as Flash therapy, 3D printing, proton therapy, treatment of rare cancers and cancer survivorship. This provides RTTs with the opportunity to update their knowledge and skills not only in current but also in new domains.


In your opinion, what will be the key takeaways for RTTs who attend ESTRO 2024, and how can the knowledge gained benefit their daily practice?

I suggest these takeaways may be key ideas for RTTs.

  • Learn more about new technologies and novelties in radiotherapy treatment approaches for several, particularly rare, cancer sites!
  • Become inspired to join our RTT research network to expand your contacts and share your research with other RTT experts in the field!
  • Get the latest insights on recent developments in the fields of radiotherapy treatment planning, motion management, patient positioning and verification, and magnetic resonance-only workflows, to optimise your treatment approaches to these latest insights.
  • Improve your awareness of how cultural sensitivities and global issues may affect your RTT practice and find solutions so that you can adapt.


Monica Buijs, MSc


InHolland Haarlem, University of Applied Science

The Netherlands