Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: International Atomic Energy Agency


Radiotherapy is used for cure or palliation in around half of patients with cancer. We analysed data on radiotherapy equipment in 33 European countries registered in the Directory of Radiotherapy Centres (DIRAC) database, managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. As of July, 2012, Europe had 1286 active radiotherapy centres. The average number of teletherapy machines per radiotherapy centre ranged from 1·2 to 7·0 in different countries. Nordic countries, the UK, the Netherlands, and Slovenia all have large centres with four to ten teletherapy machines. Most western and southern European countries have several small centres with one or two machines, with few larger centres. The fragmentation in radiotherapy services that prevails in many European countries might affect the economic burden of radiotherapy and its quality. Eastern and southeastern European countries need to expand and modernise their radiotherapy equipment.

Concepts: European Union, Europe, Netherlands, International Atomic Energy Agency, Eastern Europe, NATO, Slovenia, Northern Europe


Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) is a molecularly targeted radiation therapy involving the systemic administration of a radiolabelled peptide designed to target with high affinity and specificity receptors overexpressed on tumours. PRRNT employing the radiotagged somatostatin receptor agonists (90)Y-DOTATOC ([(90)Y-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]-octreotide) or (177)Lu-DOTATATE ([(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3),Thr(8)]-octreotide or [(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]-octreotate) have been successfully used for the past 15 years to target metastatic or inoperable neuroendocrine tumours expressing the somatostatin receptor subtype 2. Accumulated evidence from clinical experience indicates that these tumours can be subjected to a high absorbed dose which leads to partial or complete objective responses in up to 30 % of treated patients. Survival analyses indicate that patients presenting with high tumour receptor expression at study entry and receiving (177)Lu-DOTATATE or (90)Y-DOTATOC treatment show significantly higher objective responses, leading to longer survival and improved quality of life. Side effects of PRRNT are typically seen in the kidneys and bone marrow. These, however, are usually mild provided adequate protective measures are undertaken. Despite the large body of evidence regarding efficacy and clinical safety, PRRNT is still considered an investigational treatment and its implementation must comply with national legislation, and ethical guidelines concerning human therapeutic investigations. This guidance was formulated based on recent literature and leading experts' opinions. It covers the rationale, indications and contraindications for PRRNT, assessment of treatment response and patient follow-up. This document is aimed at guiding nuclear medicine specialists in selecting likely candidates to receive PRRNT and to deliver the treatment in a safe and effective manner. This document is largely based on the book published through a joint international effort under the auspices of the Nuclear Medicine Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Ionizing radiation, Oncology, Receptor antagonist, Agonist, International Atomic Energy Agency, Inverse agonist


The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the European Society of Radiology (ESR) held the second joint Global Summit on Radiological Quality and Safety on October 10-11, 2015 in Barcelona. The programme addressed the issues of safety, professional performance, practice improvement and customer service. Participants came from national and international radiological societies; partner medical societies; global organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organisation; and patient advocacy groups. The objective was to exchange ideas and develop common strategies to improve and harmonise quality and safety in radiology on a global level. Participants debated and proposed improvement initiatives at the conclusion of the meeting.

Concepts: Management, International Atomic Energy Agency, World Health Organization, Western culture, The Conclusion, Service, Customer service, Voluntary association


The United Nations Refugee Agency’s Health Information System issues analytical reports on the current camp conditions and trends for priority reproductive health issues. The goal was to assess the status of reproductive health by analyzing seven indicators and comparing them to standards and host country estimates.

Concepts: Health care, Demography, International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations, Health informatics, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, League of Nations, Western Sahara


This document describes best practice and evidence based recommendations for the use of FDG-PET/CT for the purposes of radiotherapy target volume delineation (TVD) for curative intent treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These recommendations have been written by an expert advisory group, convened by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to facilitate a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) aiming to improve the applications of PET based radiation treatment planning (RTP) in low and middle income countries. These guidelines can be applied in routine clinical practice of radiotherapy TVD, for NSCLC patients treated with concurrent chemoradiation or radiotherapy alone, where FDG is used, and where a calibrated PET camera system equipped for RTP patient positioning is available. Recommendations are provided for PET and CT image visualization and interpretation, and for tumor delineation using planning CT with and without breathing motion compensation.

Concepts: Cancer, Ionizing radiation, Oncology, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Positron emission tomography, Radiation therapy, International Atomic Energy Agency


Feedback from industrial accidents is provided by various state or even international, institutions, and lessons learned can be controversial. However, there has been little research into organizational learning at the international level. This article helps to fill the gap through an in-depth review of official reports of the Fukushima Daiichi accident published shortly after the event. We present a new method to analyze the arguments contained in these voluminous documents. Taking an intertextual perspective, the method focuses on the accident narratives, their rationale, and links between “facts,” “causes,” and “recommendations.” The aim is to evaluate how the findings of the various reports are consistent with (or contradict) “institutionalized knowledge,” and identify the social representations that underpin them. We find that although the scientific controversy surrounding the results of the various inquiries reflects different ethical perspectives, they are integrated into the same utopian ideal. The involvement of multiple actors in this controversy raises questions about the public construction of epistemic authority, and we highlight the special status given to the International Atomic Energy Agency in this regard.

Concepts: Scientific method, Epistemology, Learning, Knowledge, Logic, International Atomic Energy Agency, Safety, Utopia


Namie Town was heavily contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident. The thyroid equivalent dose for residents who lived in Namie was estimated using results of whole body counting examinations which were carried out by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency a few months after the nuclear accident. Photon peaks of (131)I and (134)Cs were previously measured by the authors using a NaI(Tl) scintillation spectrometer and that information was used to estimate the (131)I/(134)Cs activity ratio of total intake in the present study. The maximum values of (131)I/(134)Cs activity ratio corresponding to thyroid uptake factors of 0.3, 0.1 and 0.03 were evaluated to be 0.9, 2.6 and 8.7, respectively. The maximum value of the (131)I/(134)Cs activity ratio was used to obtain the most conservative thyroid equivalent dose estimation. The maximum internal exposure of the thyroid to (131)I on the basis of (134)Cs accumulated in the body measured by the whole body counter was estimated to be 18mSv. This value was much smaller than 50mSv that the International Atomic Energy Agency recommends as the dose at which exposed persons should take stable iodine tablets.

Concepts: Chernobyl disaster, Uranium, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iodine, Gamma ray, Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents, Nuclear safety, Three Mile Island accident


Tissue banking in the Asia Pacific regions is driven by two main forces-firstly the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) via Regional Co-operative Agreement projects and secondly by the Asia Pacific Association of Surgical Tissue Banking (APASTB). This overview is written in three sections: (1) History of tissue banking in individual country in the region. (2) History of APASTB. (3) History of IAEA programme in Asia Pacific region. The current status and future of the tissue banking programme in the region will be discussed.

Concepts: Present, Time, Future, Japan, New Zealand, International Atomic Energy Agency, Past, Region


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through a Coordinated Research Project on “Enhancing Capacity for Early Detection and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer through Imaging”, brought together a group of mammography radiologists, medical physicists and radiographers; to investigate current practices and improve procedures for the early detection of breast cancer by strengthening both the clinical and medical physics components. This paper addresses the medical physics component.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, X-ray, Cancer staging, Medical imaging, Medical physics, Mammography, International Atomic Energy Agency


The use of phase space in medical linear accelerator Monte Carlo (MC) simulations significantly improves the execution time and leads to results comparable to those obtained from full calculations. The classical representation of phase space stores directly the information of millions of particles, producing bulky files. This paper presents a virtual source model (VSM) based on a reconstruction algorithm, taking as input a compressed file of roughly 800 kb derived from phase space data freely available in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) database. This VSM includes two main components; primary and scattered particle sources, with a specific reconstruction method developed for each. Energy spectra and other relevant variables were extracted from IAEA phase space and stored in the input description data file for both sources. The VSM was validated for three photon beams: Elekta Precise 6 MV/10 MV and a Varian TrueBeam 6 MV. Extensive calculations in water and comparisons between dose distributions of the VSM and IAEA phase space were performed to estimate the VSM precision. The Geant4 MC toolkit in multi-threaded mode (Geant4-[mt]) was used for fast dose calculations and optimized memory use. Four field configurations were chosen for dose calculation validation to test field size and symmetry effects, 3 × 3 cm2 , 10 × 10 cm2 , and 30 × 30 cm2 for squared fields, and 20 × 7 cm2 for an asymmetric rectangular field. Good agreement in terms of γindex formalism, for 3%/3 mm and 2%/3 mm criteria, for each evaluated radiation field and photon beam was obtained within a computation time of 60 hours on a single WorkStation for a 3 mm voxel matrix. Analyzing the VSM’s precision in high dose gradient regions, using the distance to agreement concept (DTA), showed also satisfactory results. In all investigated cases, the mean DTA was less than 1 mm in build-up and penumbra regions. In regards to calculation efficiency, the event processing speed is six times faster using Geant4-[mt] compared to sequential Geant4, when running the same simulation code for both. The developed VSM for 6 MV/10 MV beams widely used, is a general concept easy to adapt in order to reconstruct comparable beam qualities for various linac configurations, facilitating its integration for MC treatment planning purposes. .

Concepts: Electron, Mathematics, Photon, Fundamental physics concepts, Electromagnetic radiation, Monte Carlo, International Atomic Energy Agency, Linear particle accelerator