Dr. Tony Wong is the Director of Medical Physics and Dosimetry at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Proton Therapy Center in Seattle since 2012. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Before joining the proton center, Dr. Wong served as the Lead Medical Physicist and Head of New Technology at the Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle, the Staff Physicist and Head of QA at the William Beaumont Hospital, Michigan, and the Chief Radiotherapy Physicist at the Austin Medical Center in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Wong has authored and co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts and over 70 abstracts, and a book chapter in radiation therapy. His current interests are improving clinical workflow and accuracy in proton spot scanning, adaptive radiation therapy, and ultra-high dose rate FLASH radiotherapy.
Preliminary studies using an ultra-high dose rate greater than 40 Gy/second, generally known as FLASH radiotherapy (FLASH RT), have shown various degrees of reduction of normal tissue complication while maintaining tumor response compared with conventional dose rate RT. FLASH can dramatically widen the therapeutic window of normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and tumor control probability (TCP), which is the essence of radiation therapy. Therefore, FLASH RT has attracted significant attention in radiation oncology. However, the radiobiological effect of FLASH RT is not well understood, and the optimum FLASH RT dose delivery parameters are not yet established.
Most of the preliminary studies in FLASH RT have been with electrons, which will have challenges in treating deep-seated tumors due to the shallow penetrating depth of electron beams. However, with minimal modifications, most clinical proton facilities can deliver FLASH RT to the full range of proton energies. One additional benefit of proton FLASH RT is the advantage of dose sparing with the proton Bragg Peak. This presentation will give an overview and update on FLASH RT, particularly the current research in FLASH RT with protons.