Willis-Knighton Cancer Center Medical Physics Team Tapped for Prestigious National Award

Apr 25, 2019

Willis-Knighton Cancer Center’s radiation oncology medical physics team has been named 2019 recipient of the George Starkschall Award of Excellence for Outstanding Radiation Oncology Physics Article. 

The article, “Commissioning of the World’s First Compact Pencil-Beam Scanning Proton Therapy System,” was submitted last year to the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics. The scientific publication details the efforts of Willis-Knighton’s medical physics team in readying the world’s first Proteus®ONE compact proton machine for the clinical treatment of patients at Willis-Knighton Cancer Center. 

Receiving the award are medical director Lane R. Rosen, MD, chief physicist Hsinshun Terry Wu, PhD, Joseph Syh, PhD, Matthew R. Maynard, PhD, and Joseph P. Dugas, PhD. It will be formally presented during the annual meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in San Antonio in July.  The AAPM is the premier organization in medical physics whose mission is to advance the science, education and professional practice of medical physics. 

The Willis-Knighton Cancer Center set a new standard for radiation therapy when it introduced the world’s first compact image-guided proton therapy system in 2014. Rosen notes that proton therapy continues to increase in popularity internationally and that the team at Willis-Knighton has felt an obligation to assist physicists around the world who are commissioning these complex units. “This is one of the highest honors a radiation oncology physics group can receive, and it is a tribute to the advanced therapy, quality assurance and clinical expertise here under the supervision of Dr. Wu,” he says.  

“This was really a team effort and many long hard hours went into the commissioning and data collection required for this publication,” Maynard says. “When we published our commissioning experience, we had no expectation of the impact it would make in the field,” adds Dugas.