Comprehensive and Practical Brachytherapy Brussels 2020 - PDF Version
9 – 13 February 2020, Brussels, Belgium 

Course director
Bradley Pieters, Radiation oncologist, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands ­­

Could you please briefly introduce yourself? 

I am a radiation therapist based in Winterthur, Switzerland. I am from Portugal, where I graduated in radiotherapy. Since then I have had a lot of interest in brachytherapy. In my department, I have been responsible for the brachytherapy machine for the last two years, and I am very pleased to develop my knowledge in this area of radiotherapy.

Why did you choose to attend this course? (please mention if it’s your ESTRO course) 

As I mentioned, I am responsible for the machine, so I feel very motivated to try to help our clinic grow in brachytherapy. It is the goal of everyone in the clinic to increase our brachytherapy skills and evolve beyond standard applications. 

What aspects of the course were the most interesting and why? 

The most interesting parts were those related to the clinical aspects, including the explanation of procedures because this gave me a better view of the subject. I also found the practical sessions important and interesting. These sessions enabled closer contact with all the companies that offer brachytherapy equipment, with the explanations of how each operated.   

Did the course activities improve your knowledge and skills in the relevant subject? 

Yes, indeed! First, the presentations were all very clear and we were able to acquire a lot of information on each topic. All the activities, concerning the contours, were very important for several reasons: first, to realise the discrepancies of the homework before and after the presentations; second, and in my particular case, to improve my knowledge regarding the contouring of organs at risk. In addition, the practical sessions helped me to better understand the different materials that are available from each company and above all to be able to follow the handling of each treatment planning system. 

Did the course meet your expectations? If so, how?  

It exceeded my expectations! Not only did I learn a lot, but also I was able to meet incredible and important people associated with brachytherapy and I had the privilege of exchanging information with them. 

List three important ‘takeaways’ following the course. 

  • Do not use the simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) technique by Cervix external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) if the patient will receive brachytherapy later. 
  • We can improvise a lot in brachytherapy, such as with vaginal mould applicators. 
  • Never forget that the dose prescription is not the same as the given dose.

How will what you have learnt be implemented in your daily job/ clinical practice? (if applicable) 

I can use the knowledge and experience of this course to try to implement more applications beyond the standard brachytherapy that we offer in our clinic. In this way, we can offer a better variety of treatments to our patients. 

How would you encourage someone who has never been to an ESTRO Course to join this course next year/ in two years? 

Definitely, I would encourage them! It is really a great course and I would even like to repeat the course myself to hear the updates that will come in future. 


Cidália Pires
Kantonsspital Winterthur – Institut für Radio-Onkologie
Winterthur, Switzerland 


Course Participants