Proceedings of the fourth international conference on the use of computers in radiation therapy

Proceedings of the fourth international conference on the use of computers in radiation therapy

BOOK REVIEW Proceedings oj’ the Fourth International Conference on the Use of Computers in Radiation Therapy, edited by Arvin Glicksman (Chairman), J...

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BOOK REVIEW

Proceedings oj’ the Fourth International Conference on the Use of Computers in Radiation Therapy, edited by Arvin Glicksman (Chairman), Jan Cederlund,

Montague Cohen, Jack Cunningham, Bo Jung, Bengt Olsen and Stewart Orr. Radiofysikavdelningen Akademiska Sjukhuset, Uppsala, Sweden, 1973, SW.Cr. 95. As one of the participants rightly points out in his history of such conferences, the title should perhaps be more correctly stated as the Seventh Conference if one takes into account the meetings on this subject called by the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, the four meetings, held at Cambridge, Chicago, Glasgow and Uppsala respectively, are probably unique for the way in which they were conducted, in that the participants were not just an audience listening to invited papers, but were participants in a very real sense of the word. In this, the Fourth International Conference, the first part of the Proceedings consisted of a number of pre-circulated questions directed to radiotherapists and radiobiologists, physicists, computer scientists and computer manufacturers. Each of these groups of questions is subdivided into topics and the questions on each topic are answered by an appropriate group of conference participants. The discussion which ensued when the conference met in plenary session is then reported at the end of this, the first section of the Proceedings (Series A). The second part of the Proceedings is entitled ‘Series B: Evaluation of Current Practice’, and again there are reports of the working groups, each group dealing with a specific topic (ten topics in all, including such titles as ‘2D versus 3D Dose Planning’ and ‘Radiobiology’). The discussion in plenary session which followed the work of the groups is fully reported. The third part (‘Series C: Evaluation of Systems’) follows the same pattern as 313 ht. J. Bio-Medical Computing (5) (1974)-o Printed in Great Britain

Applied Science Publishers Ltd, England, 1974

314

BOOKREVIEW

Series A and B and in the discussion at the end it is refreshing to see a notable participant stating, what he calls the obvious, that ‘a physicist is not really being a physicist, if he does not compare his calculating against measurements’. The rest of the Proceedings consists of a compilation of treatment planning techniques, a survey of computers and computer programs in radiotherapy and a list of papers presented to the conference with a brief extract of each. The list of members includes most of the well-known people working in the field of computers applied to radiotherapy problems and, as one would expect, the subject, is covered well and in considerable detail. The Proceedings have been well put together with a useful index. Clearly, these Proceedings should be on the bookshelf of everyone even remotely concerned with the subject, and for those just entering the field this book is essential reading. The editors are to be congratulated on the way they have presented the Proceedings of what was obviously an interesting and informative conference. A. STOCKLEY