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Professor De Neve awarded for his work in medical physics

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has awarded Professor Wilfried De Neve an Honorary Membership Award for his contribution to medical physics. The AAPM emphasises that it is because of researchers such as De Neve that radiation remains an effective treatment, alongside chemotherapy and surgery. De Neve's work has also significantly contributed to the reduction of the negative influence of radiation on healthy body tissue.

In 1981, Wilfried De Neve graduated from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and he then proceeded to work for the Bordet Institute in Brussels, the Rotterdam Radiotherapy Institute and the University Hospital of Brussels. He took courses in information technology, mechanical engineering and statistics. After his doctoral research on the biochemical modulation of radiation in the US, he returned to Belgium in 1988. 

In 1993 he became Chairman of the Radiotherapy and Experimental Cancer Research Department of the UGent where he brings together physicists, engineers and radiotherapists to improve radiotherapy. He was a pioneer in Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Thanks to IMRT, dry eye syndrome and blindness can be avoided in case of sinus and nasal cancer, and the chronic toxicity with various other head and neck cancers is reduced. 

De Neve also developed IMRT techniques and medical devices to treat breast cancer in the prone position. His research resulted in a three-fold reduction in the acute toxicity of breast cancer radiation, whilst also reducing the risk of lung cancer and cardiac failure in old age.

Wilfried De Neve teaches radiation physics, IMRT and particles therapy at the ESTRO, the European Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology. In 2009 he received the ESTRO's Honorary Physicist Award.

The AAPM awards its honorary membership awards to persons to acknowledge their contribution to organisations supporting medical physics. The prize does not only recognise the individual, but also the institution in which the research is carried out.

 

13 December 2016

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