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Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy offers an innovative course in the clinical use of Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).

BC Cancer has been treating patients using VMAT since 2007 and has subsequently gained extensive experience in planning and treatment using this technology. Drawing on this expertise, we have constructed a course aimed at imparting our clinical knowledge to other radiation oncology health professionals. 


Based at the Vancouver Centre in downtown Vancouver, this two day course follows the patients progress through the radiation department from simulation to treatment planning and treatment delivery. 

This interprofessional course is designed to showcase the application of VMAT in the clinical environment. Practical planning methods and strategies developed over several years are applied to a range of treatment sites. 


Target audiences for this course are medical radiation physicists and residents, radiation oncologists and residents, and radiation therapists and dosimetrists.


Knowledge of IMRT is desirable.  

Course details

The VMAT course:

  • focuses on implementation and considerations of using VMAT in a clinical setting
  • leads from patient immobilization and CT simulation to planning and treatment with VMAT
  • includes 8 hours of “hands on” treatment planning on Varian EclipseTM stations focusing on set up parameters and planning strategies used for VMAT
  • discusses unusual treatment cases, commissioning and Quality Assurance processes
  • demonstrates optimization methods and teaches you how to evaluate VMAT plans
  • discusses current protocols used at BC Cancer, with particular emphasis on SBRT sites
  • describes resources in terms of equipment as well as the staffing required to start up a VMAT program
  • provides opportunity for participants to observe treatment delivery on a Varian TrueBeam® treatment unit

Continuing education credits

This course has been approved continuing credits from the following groups:

  • CAMRT CECAP Category A:  9.25 total credits
  • CMD:  14.5 total credits
  • CAMPEP MPCEC:  12.84 total credits

Continuing Education credits from this course can be used to fulfill CME requirements for your professional group.


Travel information

The Vancouver Centre is also located 5 minutes away from downtown Vancouver by taxi where you can access cuisines from around the world.

The City of Vancouver is a vibrant, international city on the west coast of Canada that will not disappoint any traveller who chooses to visit this wonderful city.  For a list of attractions, please visit Tourism Vancouver's website at




Sponsorship from the following vendors has made the VMAT course possible












General registration fee is $850 CDN.

Course fee includes:

  • two-day on-site course
  • take-home course materials
  • one dinner with faculty and particpants


To register for this course, you need to have a PHSA LearningHub account. Once your account is set up, then you can register and submit your payment electronically.

PHSA LearningHub and search for BCCA - VMAT Course EXT


For 2015 May VMAT course, changes or cancellations made on or before 2015 April 1st, will result in a refund of 50%, less $75 administration fees. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after 2015 April 1st. The institution reserves the right to cancel the course whereby a full refund will be given.

For more information,



Alanah Bergman, PhD, FCCPM

Alanah is a Fellow of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine and a senior medical physicist at the Vancouver Cancer Centre with expertise in IMRT & VMAT commissioning,quality assurance, and new technique implementation. Her research interests include clinical applications for Monte Carlo Simulations (linac modelling, patient-specific quality assurance and dose optimization), SABR for mets and 4D Cone Beam CT.


Cheryl Duzenli, PhD, FCCPM

Cheryl is a Fellow of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine and has been with BC Cancer since 1995, serving as the Department Head of Medical Physics at the Vancouver Cancer Centre and Director of the Medical Physics Residency Program since 2006. She holds an Adjunct Professor appointment at the University of British Columbia and plays an active role in the Graduate Medical Physics program. Cheryl's interests lie in radiation dosimetry, evidence based technology implementation and patient's safety.


Dr. Devin Schellenberg

Dr. Schellenberg is a radiation oncologist practicing in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley Cancer Centres. His radiation oncology residency was carried out at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and BC Cancer, after which he completed a fellowship in stereotactic body radiation therapy at Stanford University in 2007. He currently leads the Provincial Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR/SBRT) program and specializes in the treatment of lung and gastrointestinal malignancies. His present research is focused on the use of novel imaging modalities in radiation therapy.

Emily Vollans, MSc, MIPEM

Emily is a corporate member of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, UK. She trained as a medical physicist in London, UK, and after 6 years at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, joined the Vancouver Cancer Centre in 2000. As the lead physicist for IMRT and VMAT, and has played a key role in both the commissioning and clinical implementation of first IMRT and then VMAT. Her speical interests include developing VMAT for complex sites, and research interests include FFF VMAT planning.


James Sidney, RTT

After receiving BSc., in biology from UBC, James moved on to BCIT's radiation therapy, graduating in 2007. Since then, he has worked at 3 of the 6 clinical sites in BC, but has spent much of the last 2 years working in the Mould Room here in Vancouver. His other primary interests here at VCC are refining and improving our imaging practices, and working with student therapists.

Jenny Soo,MEd, AC(T)

Jenny embarked on her journey to become a radiation therapist shortly after completing her BSc., in Biochemistry and Kinesiology. Since qualified as a radiation therapist, she's been with BC Cancer - Vancouver Cancer Centre. Post completion of her Masters in Education, she undertook a new role and is now a Radiation Therapy Clincial Educator, where she likes to work in the

area of interface between education and clinical practice. Jenny's research interests include palliative care, radiationtherapy utilization, and patient education.


Jonn Wu, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Wu joined the Vancouver Cancer Centre in 1999, where he was involved in the implementation of IMRT and RapidArc planning/delivery techniques. Dr. Wu’s research interests include radiotherapy planning techniques, Monte Carlo simulations, and clinical research informatics. Since 2009, Dr. Wu has been the Provincial Head and Neck Tumour Group Chair, and has also been a member of the Lung and Genitourinary Tumour Groups.


Mitchell Liu, MDCM, FRCPC

Dr. Liu joined BC Cancer in 1998, specializing in the Lung and GI sites. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology in the Department of Surgery at UBC with particular areas of interest in applications of technological innovations in Radiation Oncology such as VMAT, IGRT, SABR (Liver, Lung, Spine) and risk factors and predictive models for radiation therapy complications.


Rosie Vellani, RTT

Rosie Trained at the Hammersmith Hospital in England and has been with BC Cancer for the last 30 years. She is the lead therapist in IMRT and VMAT planning and senior VMAT trainer for radiation therapists at Vancouver Cancer Centre. Rosie is a key member of the team investigating potential sites for treatment with VMAT.

Tony Mestrovic, PhD

completed in Medical Physics (Radiation Oncology) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in January 2009. After his graduate degree, Tony completed Medical Physics Residency Program at BC Cancer, Vancouver Cancer Centre. Since then he has worked as a full time Medial Physicist at BC Cancer. He currently works at the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. Tony has become a Member of the Canadian College of Physicist in Medicine (Radiation Oncology Physics) in May 2011. As of June 2013, Tony holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor position at the University of Victoria (UVIC), Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Guest faculty members

Karl Otto, PhD, FCCPM

Karl Otto is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Otto's research includes Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), 4D VMAT planning and real-time interactive planning methods for general and adaptive RT. The plan optimization methods developed by Dr. Otto are now included in the commercial RapidArc platform offered by Varian

Medical Systems which is now used in over 1000 centers worldwide. Dr. Otto received the British Columbia Young Innovator Award in 2008 for his development of VMAT and RapidArc. He also received the 2009 award for best Medical Physics article from the Canadian Organization of Medical Physics.

Previous guest faculty

Our previous guest faculty for past courses inlcuded Dr. Luca Cozzi (Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland), Dr. Karl Otto (British Columbia, Canada), and Dr. Dave Shephard (Swedish Cancer Institute Seattle, WA).

Program Secretary

Mary Robles, Secretary

Mary has been with BC Cancer since 2000. Prior to joining the Medical Physics Department she has worked in Diagnostic Imaging, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre & Radiation Oncology.

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