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Hyperthermia Therapy Practice School - 2022 dates TBD

Dario close up Thermal Therapy

About the Course

Over the past decade there has been a significant advancement in the field of hyperthermia therapy, an adjuvant cancer therapy that sensitizes tumor cells to both radiation and chemotherapy. With increased knowledge and training, clinicians will be able to provide a less invasive form of radiation to their patients.

The Hyperthermia Therapy Practice School is a CME accredited course (pending) that will provide the attendees with the theoretical aspects of hyperthermia therapy in a lecture format with a question and answer session. Several cases will be reviewed to explain the different approaches to treat different treatment sites. Small groups will facilitate in-depth training of practical guidelines for hyperthermia therapy treatment delivery, and will practice the treatment delivery in terms of software and hardware in experimental phantoms.

Attending practitioners will be made aware of combining hyperthermia therapy with the different forms of radiation treatment and will benefit from a formal training course that will provide one day of lectures and clinical case reviews and one day of practical training and use of hyperthermia therapy equipment.

About Hyperthermia Therapy and Proton Therapy

Advances in the applications, technologies and methodologies of radiation oncology continue to evolve rapidly and the delivery of radiation therapy has become more complex, making it imperative that radiation oncology professionals remain current in the state-of-the-art techniques. Hyperthermia therapy at 40-44°C (thermotherapy) is a specialized adjuvant cancer therapy that is only available in a few radiation oncology clinics throughout the U.S. Similarly, proton therapy is a less invasive form of radiation that is currently only available in certain regions of the country. Thermotherapy is a non-invasive procedure that has been used with traditional photon radiation and chemotherapy. The University of Maryland Division of Translational Radiation Sciences (DTRS) is now documenting the effectiveness of thermotherapy when applied with proton therapy, an effort that has no parallel in the U.S.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Recall all the components required to establish a hyperthermia therapy program.
  2. Distinguish the different biology of tumors and healthy tissues during elevated temperatures.
  3. Decide proper patient eligibility for hyperthermia treatments and the most adequate modality: interstitial, superficial or deep hyperthermia therapy.
  4. Define the radio- and chemosensitization effects induced by hyperthermia.
  5. Describe the physics of radio waves and microwaves as well as the need for water bolus.
  6. Explain how to position the different hyperthermia applicators and define the need for multiple treatment sites.
  7. Perform treatment delivery of interstitial, superficial and deep hyperthermia therapy.
  8. Analyze and report hyperthermia therapy treatment data.
  9. Implement the clinical workflow, documentation and reimbursement of hyperthermia treatments.

Target Audience

This course will be the first of its kind in the U.S. to provide practice guidelines and practical training to national and international hyperthermia therapy practitioners, including:

  • Radiation Oncologists
  • Medical Physicists
  • Radiation Therapists
  • Dosimetrists
  • Medical Oncologists
  • Oncology Residents
  • Students
  • Surgical Oncologists
  • Oncology Fellows
  • Nurses

Course Directors

Zeljko Vujaskovic, MD, PhD
Professor of Radiation Oncology

Vice Chair for Research

2021 Daily Record Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award. 2016 Society of Thermal Medicine’s J. Eugene Robinson Award recipient. As Director of the Maryland Proton Alliance, one of his many research initiatives explores synergies between proton beam therapy and hyperthermia therapy. Dr. Vujaskovic lectures around the world on the topic of hyperthermia oncology.

Dario Rodrigues, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Lead Hyperthermia Physicist

Dr. Rodrigues is one of the few thermal oncology physicists in the U.S. He specializes in focused heat generated by radio waves (hyperthermia) which is a potent enhancer of chemo- and radiotherapy. Dr. Rodrigues is also the Councilor of Engineering/Physics of the Society for Thermal Medicine.

Course Co-Directors

Jason Kyle Molitoris, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Director of Clinical Hyperthermia
Director of the Dr. Nancy K. Welker Fellowship in Proton Therapy and Advanced Radiation Modalities

Mariana Guerrero

Mariana Guerrero, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Medical Physics Residency Program Director

Sample Speakers & Lecture Titles

How to establish a hyperthermia therapy program
Zeljko Vujaskovic, MD, PhD
Professor of Radiation Oncology
Vice-Chair of Research
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Physics planning/execution of RF deep hyperthermia therapy
Dario Rodrigues, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Practice guidelines for interstitial hyperthermia therapy
John Hayes, MD
Associate Professor
Gamma West, Salt Lake City, UT

Physics planning/execution of MW superficial hyperthermia therapy
Paul Stauffer, MSEE, CEE
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

Practice guidelines for superficial hyperthermia therapy
Jennifer Yu, Md, PhD
Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Practice guidelines for deep hyperthermia therapy
Jason Kyle Molitoris, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Physics planning/execution of MW interstitial hyperthermia therapy
Mariana Guerrero, PhD
Clinical Professor
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Course Coordinator

For questions about the course, please contact course coordinator Jessica White,, 410-328-7618.