HL2013 Radiation Therapy 7.5 credits


Please note

The information on this page is based on a course syllabus that is not yet valid.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Autumn 19 for programme students

Autumn 18 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

The course gives a fundamental knowledge of physical, biological and clinical aspects of radiation therapy. A special focus is given to mathematical methods applied in dose planning systems and to treatment optimisation methods to get the best therapy outcome. The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the basic physical and biological effects of ionising radiation in order to learn the principles of radiation therapy and to provide an overview of different mathematical tools for dose plan calculations.

After the course you should be able to:

  • describe the effects in tissue from different types of ionising  radiation such as photons, electrons, neutrons, protons or light ions
  • give an overview of different accelerator designs and  irradiation techniques to treat tumours
  • explain the main differences in radiobiological response of the low- and high let radiation
  • describe the mathematical methods used in the dose calculations
  • present and compare different radiation treatment strategies to obtain the best cancer cure and to spare healthy surrounding tissues under exposure to radiation
  • describe imaging tools used during treatment planning and daily treatment sessions to target the cancer and for better control of the irradiated volume

Course main content

Basic interaction processes of ionising radiation with matter. Basic concepts of dosimetry, dosimetric quantities and units. Accelerators for radiation therapy, principles of linear and circular accelerators. Optimal design of the therapy beam. Introduction to basic biological and chemical reactions in the irradiated cells. Lesions produced by radiation in DNA molecules. Cell survival models. Radiation effects on normal tissues and tumours. The biological basis of radiotherapy, oxygen effect, dose rate dependence, dose fractionation. Dose calculation in electron and photon beams. Algorithms for calculations of dose distribution in the patient.  Principles of optimal treatment planning. Dose planning exercises. Special treatment modalities. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therap


Bachelor's degree in Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or equivalent. Basic knowledge of anatomy.


Lecture material available at the department


  • PRO1 - Project, 2.0, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.5, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Exercises, 1.0, grading scale: P, F

Offered by

CBH/Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems


Emely Kjellsson Lindblom, emely.lindblom@fysik.su.se; Iuliana Toma-Dasu, iuliana.livia.dasu@fysik.su.se


Mats Nilsson <spexmats@kth.se>

Supplementary information

Notice that the final schedule is not yet decided and the dates can be changed.

Lectures are given at the department of Medical Radiation Physics, Karolinska hospital.


Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2019.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.