Educational Speakers

MEET THE 7th ANNUAL PTCOG-NA CONFERENCE EDUCATIONAL SPEAKERS

Dose and Range Verification

B. Kevin Teo, Ph.D

B. Kevin Teo, Ph.D is an Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a key member of the imaging team for medical physics responsible for implementing clinical imaging protocols and advance clinical initiatives to introduce new imaging modalities in the clinic. His research has focused on the applications of advanced imaging tools to improve quantification and reduce proton range uncertainties. This include the deployment of the world’s first gantry mounted cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) system for proton therapy which introduced volumetric imaging for estimating inter-fraction treatment dose and enabled the use of CBCT in an adaptive proton therapy workflow. Another notable work was the first clinical demonstration of the feasibility to use prompt gamma (PG) imaging for in vivo proton range verification which enabled the location of individual pencil beam spots within the patient to be imaged for the first time in proton therapy. PG imaging could be used to confirm proton range as well as identify changes in anatomy that leads to range deviations. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr Teo was responsible for implementing the use of dual energy CT (DECT) to calculate more accurate proton stopping power compared to traditional single energy CT. DECT has enabled more accurate proton dose calculations with reduced range uncertainty margins to be used in some treatment sites. 

Niek Schreuder PhD

Niek Schreuder (PhD) is the Chief Scientific Officer for Leo Cancer Care. He is a board certified (DABR) medical physicist and fellow of the AAPM with significant experience in all aspects of radiotherapy. Niek is an expert in proton radiation therapy systems and has been involved in commissioning, training professionals and first treatments at nine proton therapy facilities and one neutron therapy facility over the past 31 years. He has been responsible for training and coordinating training for physicians, medical physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists for many radiation therapy facilities. Niek has held roles in management and medical physics at Provision Healthcare in Knoxville, TN ProCure Treatment Centers and the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI) in Bloomington, IN. He started his career in particle therapy as a medical physicist working at the radiation therapy facilities (neutron, proton and X-rays) at iThemba Labs in South Africa. His passion is developing new technologies to advance the field of radiation therapy to benefit cancer patients.

Dr. Robert  Stewart

Dr. Stewart is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and a Medical Physicist in the University of Washington (UW) Department of Radiation Oncology (2010 – present). He graduated from Kansas State University in 1997 with a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. He was a Senior Research Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory from 1990-1993 and from 1997-2002. He transitioned to Purdue University in 2002 as an Assistant Professor. He served as the Assistant Head of the School of Health Sciences (2008-2010) and Director of the Health Physics and Medical Physics programs at Purdue University (2006-2010). He served as a Physics Councilor for the Radiation Research Society (2005-2008) and as a member of AAPM Task Group 256 on proton relative biological effectiveness (RBE). He is currently the UW lead for clinical radiation biology, the physics lead for the UW neutron therapy program and an associate editor for the British J. of Radiology.  He has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters and is well-known for his efforts to advance multiscale biological modeling of radiation effects, especially as it relates to particle RBE.

Dr. Katja Langen

Katja Langen serves as the Chief of Physics at the Emory Proton Therapy Center and is the Associate Director of Medical Physics at Emory.

She completed her undergraduate degree in Health Physics in Germany before moving to freezing Madison, Wisconsin in January of 1992 to study Medical Physics. After obtaining her PhD degree she started a Postdoctal position at iThemba LABS in Cape Town, South Africa where, at the time, both neutron and proton beams were used to treat cancer patients.

Since returning to the US she has worked as a clinical medical physicist for about 20 years and for the last 8 years has been dedicated to proton therapy. Her research interests cover motion management in both photon and proton therapy.

While this is her first PTCOG-NA meeting she has attended PTCOG meetings since 1996 and is excited to see PTCOG meetings grow in scope and attendance.

Head & Neck

Alexander Lin, M.D

Alexander Lin, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. He also is the Chief of the Head and Neck Cancer Section in the Department of Radiation Oncology, the Medical Director of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, and the Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs. His clinical interests include the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers, and the integration of proton therapy in the cancer treatment paradigm. Dr. Lin is a NIH-funded clinical investigator, and his research program has been focused on his efforts on the integration of proton therapy for cancer treatments, toxicity mitigation and quality of life improvement, and the development of integration of novel agents given in conjunction with radiotherapy to target the tumor microenvironment for cancers of the head and neck.

Steven Frank

Steven J. Frank, MD, is an endowed tenured professor of Radiation Oncology and holds the Bessie McGoldrick Professorship in Clinical Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Dr. Frank is the Executive Director of the Particle Therapy Institute and Deputy Head of Strategy for the Division of Radiation Oncology.  Dr. Frank’s lab is studying the biologic enhancement factor of proton therapy and FLASH radiotherapy for head and neck cancer, as well as MRI-Assisted Radiosurgery (MARS) as the next generation of prostate brachytherapy. Dr. Frank has approximately 300 peer-reviewed publications, has authored many book chapters, and has recently published the first textbook on Proton Therapy based on the MD Anderson experience.  Dr. Frank is amongst the first, if not the first, to use Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT) to treat head and neck tumors, and he is the Principal Investigator of an NIH/NCI-sponsored multi-institutional Phase II/III randomized trial in advanced stage oropharyngeal cancer that compares outcomes after chemoradiation given by IMRT versus IMPT.  His other major clinical research accomplishment includes the successful accrual of 300 patients in a Phase II protocol for prostate cancer. Dr. Frank’s expertise in MRI radiotherapy has led to the development and FDA approval of multiple novel positive-contrast implantable markers for use in MRI-guided LDR and HDR prostate brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy.  As founder of the company, C4 Imaging, Dr. Frank has developed the MRI marker technology at MD Anderson, currently holds 31 national and international patents and has continued MRI-Assisted Radiosurgery (MARS) at MD Anderson for the treatment of prostate cancer. He has funding from the NIH, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Texas Ignition Fund, Hitachi and MD Anderson, and he has also raised multiple rounds of private equity financing to advance the C4 technology. Dr. Frank has served as the past President and Chairman of the Board of the American Brachytherapy Society, and he serves as the chair for the head and neck oral boards for the American Board of Radiology.

Upendra Parvathenani 

I have been an Attending Radiation Oncologist at the University of Washington since August 2006. I specialize in treating Head and Neck cancers in an academic multidisciplinary practice setting using multiple modalities including IMRT, Neutron radiotherapy, Proton beam radiotherapy, IORT, and SBRT. My niche practice involves treating uncommon tumors including Merkel cell cancer and Salivary gland tumors.

My research interests as an investigator and collaborator are focused on improving the targeting and delivery of radiotherapy for head and neck cancers, including integration of translational research and functional imaging approaches. In particular, I am interested in the biological properties and applications of high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation to cancer treatment. Although there are many unknowns regarding the optimal radiation modality, and radiation specific parameters (dose, fractionation), there is increasing data showing that radiotherapy can potentiate an immune response against cancers, especially when used in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. There are several biological properties of high LET radiation that make it ideal for this purpose and merit exploration. I served as the institutional PI for a number of multi center national projects including LORHAN (national registry for head and neck cancers), ECO-ACRIN 3311 a phase 2 randomized trial. I am currently a co-PI for CA 209-8G3 and ESR 1611857, both these studies explore dual immune check point blockade combined with hypofractionated radiotherapy for recurrent salivary gland malignancies and squamous cancers respectively. I am uniquely positioned to help translate the discoveries of this project into clinical trial and eventual clinical use. I remain committed to the further investigation of the radiobiological properties of high LET radiation.

Multimodality Therapy with Particles

Charles B. Simone, II, MD

Charles B. Simone, II, MD, FACRO is Research Professor and Chief Medical Officer of the New York Proton Center and Full Member in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  He is an internationally recognized expert in using proton therapy to treat thoracic malignancies and for reirradiation, and in developing clinical trials and innovative research in thoracic oncology and stereotactic body radiation therapy. 

Prior to coming to NYPC, Dr. Simone was Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Program, and Director of Clinical Research and Operations in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn.  He was then appointed Medical Director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center, and at University of Maryland, he also served as Chair of the Clinical Research Committee for their Comprehensive Cancer Center, proton therapy Fellowship Director, and Director of the Stereotactic Radiation Therapy Program.  He completed his undergraduate and medical school training at University of Pennsylvania and residency in radiation oncology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, where he served as chief resident. 

Dr. Simone is a National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense funded investigator who has published >390 scientific articles and chapters, given >245 scientific lectures to national/international audiences, and is the national Principal Investigator or Co-Chair of 7 NIH-funded cooperative group trials (4 NRG Oncology, 1 SWOG, 1 ECOG-ACRIN, 1 PCG).  He is a three-time Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology Educator of the Year Award winner.  Dr. Simone is the Proton Collaborative Group (PCG) Board President and Chairs the PCG Executive Committee and the PCG Lung Committee.  He also Chairs the ASTRO Lung Resource Panel Committee and the NCI/Radiosurgery Society GRID-Lattice-Microbeam-Flash Radiotherapy Clinical Working Group.  He is Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Palliative Medicine .

Raymond Mailhot Vega

Raymond Mailhot Vega is assistant professor at the University of Florida, directing the heme radiotherapy program at UFHPTI in addition to treating patients with breast cancer and pediatric cancers. His research has focused on comparative effectiveness, particularly utilizing decision analysis methodology to guide clinical decision making for proton therapy indications. He has completed such analyses in pediatric cancers, breast cancer, and mediastinal lymphomas. Ray co-leads the Workforce subcommittee for ASTRO’s Committee on Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CHEDI), and his research further strives to evaluate disparities in radiotherapy access and outcomes for patients with cancer, particularly striving to ensure equity for Black and Latinx patients.

 

Dr. Stephanie Perkins

Dr. Stephanie Perkins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine.  Dr. Perkins attended medical school at the University of Tennessee, Memphis and completed her residency training at Washington University, where she served as chief resident.  She is the chief of the pediatric radiotherapy service and the director of the S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center.  She specializes in the treatment of children with proton therapy as well as the management of brain tumors and brain metastases, including expertise in Gamma Knife radiosurgery.  Her research interests are focused on the late effects of therapy in childhood survivors of brain tumors.  Her current projects include the evaluation of resting state functional connectivity MRI with assessment of changes in brain network organization in pediatric brain tumor patients and the relationship of these changes with cognitive performance.   

Dr. Steven Lin

Dr. Steven Lin is an Associate Professor and Physician Scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, with joint appointments in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Radiation Oncology. Dr. Lin’s practice focuses on thoracic malignancies, and he oversees several clinical trials including the use of proton beam therapy for esophageal cancer and in the combination of immunotherapy with radiotherapy in lung and esophageal cancers.  Dr. Lin runs a translational research team that evaluates biomarkers for treatment response and disease outcomes after chemoradiation therapy and immunotherapy. On the basic science side, Dr. Lin’s main interests lie in identifying novel approaches that could enhance radiotherapy and immunotherapy combinations in lung and esophageal cancer that could be translated to innovative clinical trials for patients.

 

Value Proposition for PT & Alternative Payment Models

Jennifer Maggiore

Jennifer Maggiore joined the National Association for Proton Therapy in 2019 as Executive Director. The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1990 to educate and increase awareness about the clinical benefits of proton therapy. With 39 members in the United States, the organization supports cooperative research and innovation to advance the field of proton therapy and support patient access to this advanced cancer treatment.   

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience as an Oncology Health Care Administrator, specifically focusing on proton therapy. Before joining NAPT, she served as Vice President for Patient Services and Strategic Development at Ackerman Cancer Center in Jacksonville, Florida. With a master’s degree in social work, she started her career as an oncology social worker at Ascension Health. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for cancer patients, ensuring access to advanced technologies providing the most optimal outcome. Locally, she serves on the North Florida Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, focusing on supporting Hope Lodge locations providing housing for patients traveling for specialized treatments. 

LinkedIn Profile  

William F. Hartsell, MD

Dr. Hartsell was the medical director of Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center from its opening until June 30, 2021. He still practices full time at that proton center, treating pediatric tumors, prostate cancer and ocular melanomas.  He was the Chair of the Proton Collaborative Group for 7 years, recently stepping down from that position in January, 2021.   He is still very involved in multiple PCG protocols, including the PCG registry which includes 20,000 patients treated on PCG protocols.  He has been very involved in health policy issues, and is the Chair of the Health Policy Council and a member of the board of directors for the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Hartsell is happily married and has four children and four grandchildren.

Dr. Miranda Lam

Dr. Miranda Lam is an assistant professor in radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and a radiation oncology attending physician at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She received her MD/MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School/Wharton Business School and completed her residency training in the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program. In addition to her active clinical practice of treating patients with sarcoma and gastrointestinal cancers, Dr. Lam is a health services researcher in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on understanding how health policy impacts both costs and quality of cancer care. She has been evaluating the impact of new and emerging payment models and policies such as accountable care organizations and Medicaid Expansion on cancer patients. She is also engaged in research to understand how national policies impact end-of-life care. Finally, she is also interested in understanding the impact of alternative payment models such as RO APM on quality and spending in cancer care delivery.

Dr. Curtiland Deville

Dr. Curtiland Deville is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as Clinical Director and Chair of Sibley Radiation Oncology and Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center.

He is a graduate of Brown University’s combined undergraduate and graduate Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) and a past Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow at the Yale Cancer Center. He completed his transitional year internship in internal medicine at Medstar Harbor Hospital Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and residency in radiation oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he joined the junior faculty as an Assistant Professor and served as clinical Chief of the Genitourinary (GU) and Sarcoma Services in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Roberts Proton Therapy Center.

Dr. Deville’s clinical expertise is in treating patients with prostate cancer and soft tissue sarcoma. His research interests include improving tumor targeting and assessing the toxicity profiles using modern radiation techniques such as proton and photon therapy. He has evaluated the implementation of proton therapy for novel indications such as post-prostatectomy therapy, pencil beam scanning, and plan robustness evaluations. He has co-authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications, including the first experience and outcomes in the world on the use of proton therapy for post-operative prostate cancer, as well as textbook chapters on the use of proton therapy for soft tissue sarcoma and prostate cancer. He is on the research investigative team for the largest national trial comparing proton and photon therapy ( COMPPARE ) and serves as a Senior GU editor for the journal, Advances in Radiation Oncology .

Dr. Deville also has a research interest in physician workforce diversity as a means to address health equity. He serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) Committee on Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He recently joined the ASTRO Board of Directors as an ex officio member.

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