Dr. Lesya Mytsak from Precarpathian Clinical Oncological Center has completed her training at UC, Irvine Radiation Oncology for 3 weeks. We are very grateful to Dr. Allen Chen and all the UC Irvine faculty and staff for providing such an amazing experience for her. Dr. Mytsak’s cancer center will receive a linear accelerator to replace the Co-60 machine. There is a large jump radiation oncologists have to make to transition from Co-60 to IMRT/VMAT. Dr. Mytsak was able to make that jump due to the joint project between Global Medical Knowledge Alliance and Help Ukraine Group sponsored by UICC grant. Here is what she had to say about her experience:
“My name is Lesia Mytsak. I have been working as a radiation oncologist at Precarpathian clinical oncological center since 2012 in Ivano-Frankivsk. My knowledge of modern radiation therapy was theoretical, as our department only had cobalt machines, I studied anatomy and contouring using ARC Anatomy and Contouring Bootcamp course, studied NCCN, ESTRO protocols, and looked for different learning opportunities! When I got the opportunity to do an internship in the USA, I couldn’t believe it for a long time!
My internship started with ASTRO 2023 meeting in San Diego. To say that it is the dream of every radiation oncologist to get here is an understatement! This grandiose event showed me the possibilities of modern radiation therapy and gave me the opportunity to communicate with world leaders in this field. The ASTRO session on Ukraine led by Nataliya Kovalchuk moved everyone. After the reports from the Ukrainian speakers, the audience was impressed by the courage of our soldiers and doctors and with tears in their eyes and gave a standing ovation!
My next chapter was the internship at the University of California Irvine Cancer Center under the guidance of Dr. Allen M.Chen. The management of the patient, the coordinated work of the team, the mechanisms of the procedures worked out to the smallest detail are the first moments that impressed me. I got acquainted with the MIM contouring program, Eclipse, the Epic system. I found out how to plan and to contour cases in GYN, breast, brain, and rectum cancer, and others. I learned the planning of brachytherapy cases and worked with the VariSource treatment planning system. I worked with ITT teams on Truebeam and Trilogy. I had the opportunity with dosimeters to optimize the plan and to choose the best method of treatment in each individual case. I observed CT simulation of patients for various cancer sites.
I can’t express my admiration for the UCI Cancer Center enough! Doctors, residents, physicists, dosimeters, nurses, managers and Dr. Allen Chen himself were always ready to answer all the questions!
Incredibly grateful to Global Medical Knowledge Alliance, Help Ukraine Group (HUG) , and Nataliya Kovalchuk , this is a person who does not just work for the sake of victory, but fights for it without giving up, sparing neither herself nor her strength, without stops and days off! Thanks to such people from the Ukrainian diaspora, we can treat, study, work, fight and get closer to victory in Ukraine!”