Spotlight on AAPM to reduce radiation therapy risk
Regarding recent articles in the New York Times, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) in a statement acknowledged a number of rare but tragic events that occurred in the last decade involving people undergoing radiation therapy.

The association noted that while radiation therapy provides effective treatment for thousands of people for many diseases including cancer, the treatment method is not without risk.

Despite adverse consequences occurring on an exceptionally rare basis--as noted by the AAPM--its members went on to say that the errors should never occur.

"The AAPM and its members deeply regret that these events have occurred, and we continue to work hard to reduce the likelihood of similar events in the future,” the association said.

The AAPM is currently organizing a national summit to be held in June, which will invite medical physicists, radiation oncologists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, manufacturer and vendor representatives and members of public interest groups to establish new ways to enhance the safety and effectiveness of the administration of radiation for the treatment of cancer.