Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI):Development and Evolution


Mr. Christopher Williamson


Dekalb Medical, Decatur, GA


Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Cho


Due to the technological advancement in imaging and diagnosis as well as frequency in screenings, the detection of malignancies in its early stages is becoming more common place. If caught early enough, new surgical and radiation techniques are available to the patient for treatment. In the case of breast cancer, for decades whole-breast irradiation (WBI), where radiation is delivered to the whole breast every day for five to eight weeks, has been the standard treatment for patients with early breast cancer treated with breast conserving surgery. However, there has been growing interest in using APBI, where radiation is used to treat only the part of the breast affected by cancer and the treatment time is decreased from several weeks to four to six days. APBI has several benefits, including a decreased overall treatment time and a decrease in the radiation delivered to healthy tissue and adjacent organs, but its long-term safety and effectiveness compared to WBI are not yet known and results of randomized trials comparing APBI with WBI will not be available for many years. In the meantime, guidance for use of APBI outside of a clinical trial is needed. This presentation will discuss the development, criteria, and evolution of accelerated partial breast irradiation.


Christopher Williamson received both his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering (2003) and his M.S. degree in medical physics at Georgia Tech. After graduation, he worked for a consulting company for 2 years covering multiple sites in Tennessee and Georgia. He then moved back to Atlanta to work for Northside Hospital for 2 years. After that time, he accepted a position at Dekalb Medical during which he completed his ABR accreditation and took on the role as the chief physicist. Specific to this presentation, during his time as a physicist, Mr. Williamson has implemented high dose rate (HDR) programs and has provided consultation for accelerated partial breast irradiation delivery.