Positioning and Immobilisation for Radiation Therapy - PDF version

19TH – 20TH October, 2019 - Brussels, Belgium

This year I had the opportunity to attend the ESTRO course “Positioning and Immobilisation for Radiation Therapy” which was dedicated solely to radiation therapists. A blended learning approach was used for this course, where we had a combination of online presentations together with live conferencing over a period of four weeks. The virtual learning environment provided us with the option of learning at a time and place that suits our schedule. Moreover, for the online sessions we were divided into groups to work on different case scenarios prior to the live conferencing.

Then later in October, I visited the city of Brussels for the scientific programme which was based on 2-day face-to-face interaction. One the first day, we had a recap on the course content which we had previously covered during the online sessions. Then we had several presentations regarding the importance of patient preparation for proper immobilisation, the importance of documentation and the immobilisation considerations required when using an MR-Linac. Also, we discussed the positioning and immobilisation challenges for upper and lower limb patients. In addition, we visited the Radiotherapy Department at Saint-Luc University Clinic where we were divided into groups for the workshop sessions. During these sessions, we constructed immobilisation masks for a lower limb and head and neck patient, and discussed their optimal use. Moreover, we practised positioning for breast patients and the importance of deep inspiration breath-hold technique. Then in the evening, we had some time to unwind over some wine and delicious food during the social dinner event. For the second day of the course, we had a presentation regarding the effectiveness of immobilisation devices and patient positioning. Also, we had a discussion in a smaller group regarding immobilisation consideration for pelvic radiotherapy where we had the opportunity to share our practices and also share some tricks of the trade we have learned over time.

As a radiation therapist, this course has helped me to further enhance my knowledge with regards to patient positioning and immobilisation, and I believe it would be beneficial to other radiation therapists to attend. I look forward to sharing the knowledge gained with my colleagues with the aim to implement some suggestions for our department. In conclusion, I would like to thank the course director Laura Mullaney and all the faculty members for sharing their knowledge with us, together with the project manager Elena Giusti and local organiser Aude Vanndering for their organizational skills together which made this course possible.


Ms Josianne Buttigieg
Allied Health professional – Therapeutic Radiographer
Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre
Msida, Malta


 In treatment room

Group discussions