Oct 25 – 29, 2024
Europe/Athens timezone

Treatment Planning : Train-the-Trainer Session

One full day is dedicated to Treatment Planning details underlying the requirements it imposes on the accelerating and beam delivery systems. Adequate time is foreseen for hands-on experience which ehnances the input provided by the specialised lectures delivered by experts.  

The hands-on session is based on the matRad open-source toolkit developed by DKFZ, tailored to education and research requirements in Treatment Planning.

The aim is to acquaint participants with the main principles of Treatment Planning and give them a hands-on experience with the matRad toolkit so that they are able to use it for their research and educational activities. Indeed, the ambition is to provide the participants with the necessary background to become tutors themselves (train-the-trainer); thus enabling them to contribute to the particle therapy masterclasses that are organized every year worldwide. 

The hands-on experience provides the means to handle details on planning the best treatement for particular cases and confronts participants with choises that have to be made regarding different modality treatments provided by matRad, namely, photons, protons and carbon-ions.

A standalone version of matRad executable can be used by participants attending this course to perform the hands-on exercises in full. However, though not essential, more features and flexibility are possible if one has access to a MATLAB license via their academic institution or through other means. 

It is best that the installation is already done before the course starts following the instructions below and the recordings here 

If you require a certificate, please submit the results of the hands-on by email to: hitm.school@cern.ch .

For any issues related to the Train-the-Trainers Treatment Planning Session please contact: yiota.foka@cern.ch and/or n.wahl@dkfz-heidelberg.de

The lecturers involved in Train-the-Trainer Treatment Planning session are listed below (To Be Confirmed).

ONLINE: On Friday 18 October starting at 17:00: the matRad installation procedure will be showcased by: Niklas Wahl (DKFZ) with the assistance of Noa Homolka (DKFZ). Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and resolve any issues with the installation. 

IN-PERSON: On Monday 21  October starting at 9:00: the focus will be on the preparation of treatment plans following workflows similar to workflow1  (recordings1) and/or workflow2 (recordings2), workflow3 (recordings3). This material (recordings from previous hands-on sessions) is available for participants who wish to further practice using the workflows independently and explore matRad beyond what can be achieved during the planned hands-on sessions. The workflows will be performed by: Niklas Wahl (DKFZ) with the assistance of Noa Homolka (DKFZ), Joa Seco (DKFZ).

The session will be concluded by presenting the concepts and methods of the Particle Therapy MasterClass and showcasing the material that can be used by the trained participants to perform it at their institutes as tutors. This will be presented by: Yiota Foka (GSI)

Yiota Foka


Foka is a senior researcher currently involved in medical applications and the development of a next-generation ion facility for tumor cancer research and therapy with ions within the framework of the collaboration of the NIMMS/CERN group and her home institute GSI, where she holds a permanent position. Her career was mostly developed within the ALICE experiment at CERN's LHC, where she also served in management positions such as deputy physics coordinator, outreach coordinator, and system coordinator for data quality monitoring and event display. Active in the dissemination of information on scientific advances via the organization of conferences, seminars, and educational outreach activities, she introduced and coordinates the new "Particle Therapy Masterclass" since 2019.


Joao Seco

Prof Seco graduated with a PhD from the University of London, at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK. He then went on to become an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, working at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He then returned to Europe to work at the German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ in Heidelberg, heading up a new group dedicated to ion beam research with a focus on 1)novel imaging technologies to reduce Bragg peak positioning errors in patients and 2)investigating the mechanism of radiation triggered DNA damage via reactive oxygen species. He is also presently the Chair of Medical Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Heidelberg University and is a member of the EFOMP Scientific Committee, representing the DGMP, German Society for Medical Physics.


Niklas Wahl

Niklas Wahl is a postdoctoral researcher and leader of the group Radiotherapy Optimization, embedded into the Department of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology led by Prof. Jäkel, at the German Cancer Research Center – DKFZ. His career at DKFZ started in 2015, studying probabilistic proton dose calculation and optimization to obtain his PhD with honors in 2018. Afterwards, he continued as postdoctoral researcher and project coordinator, expanding his research to other numerical and computational challenges in radiotherapy treatment planning focusing on proton and ion beams. His research touches the topics of FLASH particle therapy, AI integration, nano-dosimetric planning and range-guided as well as multi-modality therapy. Niklas Wahl currently leads the development of the open-source treatment planning toolkit matRad. Besides his research activities, Niklas Wahl is part of multiple scientific and educational outreach activities like the Particle Therapy Masterclass since 2019.