Physicists’ views on hadrontherapy: A survey of members of the Italian Association of Medical Physics (AIFM)

Tommaso Giandini, Chiara Tenconi, Mauro Carrara, Mario Ciocca, Stefania Russo, Costanza M.V. Panaino, Federica Cattani, Delia Ciardo, Sara Morlino, Barbara Avuzzi, Nice Bedini, Sergio Villa, Giulia Marvaso, Paola Romanelli, Azusa Hasegawa, Barbara Vischioni, Francesca Valvo, Barbara A. Jereczek-Fossa, Roberto Orecchia, Riccardo ValdagniEmanuele Pignoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: This study was based on a survey to investigate perceptions of hadrontherapy of the members of the Italian Association of Medical Physics (AIFM). The survey was digitally submitted to the 991 members between the end of January and the beginning of April 2016. Methods: A 19-item questionnaire was designed focusing on advantages and disadvantages of hadrontherapy, current status and possible future improvements, and need and opportunities for future investments in Italy and abroad. Information about professional qualifications, main fields of clinical involvement and specific competencies of the respondents was also collected. Results: The survey was completed by 121 AIFM members (response rate 12.2%). In the answers collected, it was shown that medical physicists expressed interest in hadrontherapy mainly for reasons of personal interest rather than for professional needs (90% ± 2.5% vs. 52% ± 4.3% of the respondents, respectively), with a good knowledge of the related basic aspects as well as of the pros and cons of its application. However, poor knowledge of the current status of hadrontherapy was observed among the medical physicists not directly involved at a professional level, who were less than 3% of the physicists working in radiotherapy. Conclusions: In light of these results, the implementation of new training and education initiatives should be devised to promote a deeper and global knowledge of hadrontherapy-related issues, not only from a theoretical point of view but also in practical terms. Moreover, a close collaboration between highly specialized medical physicists employed in hadrontherapy centers and others in oncology hospitals should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-437
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Hadrontherapy
  • Medical physicist
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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