Head of the Division of Radiotherapy
Tanja Marinko, MD, PhD
T: +386 1 5879 515
The division is functionally divided into four organizational units: Teleradiotherapy, Brachiradiotherapy, Radiophysics, and Clinical departments.
The Department for Radiotherapy treats more than 350 patients daily. Annually, the department treats over 5,000 patients and performs over 6,000 radiation therapies. The department includes six teams of doctors who treat different types of cancer. Besides the 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT), they regularly perform all the most modern radiotherapy techniques: intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), and stereotactic techniques like stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). They also use the deep inspiration breath-hold (DIBH) technique. Therapies are performed using eight linear accelerators and one therapeutic X-ray machine supervised by radiology engineers. Accuracy is ensured using routine image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). They also regularly use the total body irradiation (TBI) technique. The preparation for radiation treatments takes places in two CT simulators, one MRI simulator, and one conventional simulator. In some treatment plannings, the PET CT machine at the Department of Nuclear Medicine can also be used.
The Department for Brachyradiotherapy annually performs approximately 500 therapies. They use 192-iridium sources and two afterloader machines that enable high dose rate and pulse dose rate radiations. In choroidal and retinal tumour therapy, they use strontium-90 applicators. Intraluminal, interstitial, and surface techniques are used. In gynaecological and rectal tumour treatment, they use image-guided (CT/MR) adaptive brachytherapy.
The Department for Radiophysics performs the planning of tele-radiotherapeutic and brachyradiotherapeutic treatments. Together with the maintenance staff of these machines, medical physicians perform calibrations of radiation therapy machines and implement the quality assurance programme for the whole division. The department plays a vital role in the introduction of new radiation therapy techniques and the acquisition and calibration of new radiation therapy machines.
Clinical departments of the Division of Radiotherapy provide hospital care to patients that require care during or after treatment (poor general state, additional diagnostic examinations, and treatment of radiation therapy side effects). The H2 Department has 56 beds and the Department of Brachyradiotherapy has 10 beds.
IO is the only hospital in Slovenia that performs all radiation therapy procedures, regardless of their complexity, in adult and paediatric cancer patients alike. The extreme amount of work performed places us among the top radiotherapy centres in Europe. Internationally acknowledged high proficiency and excellence enable the Division of Radiotherapy to serve as a learning centre of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for teaching foreign professionals in the field of radiotherapy.
For some years now, the Department of Brachyradiotherapy has been known as Varian’s reference centre for teaching the newest brachytherapy techniques, known for its pioneering work in the field of building and applying individual applicators for the radiation therapy of gynaecological tumours. Also worth pointing out is the total body irradiation translation technique using a linear accelerator, designed by local professionals.