Recognizing Excellence in Medical Physics: Dr. Marco Carlone
In recognition of International Day of Medical Physics we are highlighting Dr. Marco Carlone, a Medical Physicist at BC Cancer, Kelowna, with over 20 years in the field. Dr. Carlone’s career has included many different roles within the radiotherapy community but has ultimately led him to a mission of better access to radiotherapy through education and training. Today he shares his journey as a Medical Physicist and his hopes for the profession's future.
Prior to his medical physics career, Dr. Carlone was an Accelerator Systems Engineer at Mevex Corporation in Ottawa, which builds industrial linear accelerators. There, he learned about the inner workings of the linac machine and began to form a special interest in medical physics. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Physics from Queen’s University and later a PhD in Medical Physics from Carleton University. After completing his clinical training in Ottawa, he worked at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto before finally taking his position at BC Cancer and settling in Kelowna. Dr. Carlone has also served as a Past-President of the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) and was named a Fellow of COMP in 2020.
Throughout his career, Dr. Carlone has paid special attention to the availability and accessibility of cancer care throughout the world. He explains this critical challenge in his own words; “Cancer is a big problem for the world today, and radiation is one of the most important tools we have to fight this. Today, there are only about 13,000 linacs for the whole world. This is nowhere near enough. To really help the cancer problem, we need many more linacs all over the world. I hope that medical physicists will be the healthcare leaders that are able to provide this important treatment to anyone that needs it.”
As a response to this need, Dr. Carlone’s career is now focused on education of the next generation of medical physicists. He founded Linax Technologies in 2019. The company makes a web-based medical linear accelerator simulator called Simac which provides foundational training and a knowledge repository for the profession. The program has the potential to make a huge impact on the field by delivering remote support and training for medical physicists around the world, especially those in developing countries with limited educational resources.
“Radiotherapy is complicated. I don’t think it has to be as complex as we make it. The world is changing, and we now have new tools which can really simplify radiotherapy which we didn’t have even 10 years ago. If, when I am finishing my career, I feel as though I helped to make radiotherapy just a bit more accessible and less difficult, then I’ll feel that I did my part.”
Dr. Carlone lives his personal mission “to be a good father, a good husband, and to use my skills to help people that need it” every day through his work with the Simac simulator. He is training medical physicists around the world to ensure access to care is expanding and quality of care is improving. A true visionary and leader for the future of medical physics, we thank Dr. Marco Carlone for all that he has done and will do.
If you would like to learn more about Simac, please visit their website here.
RSA is a privately-owned company founded in 1995 and based in North Carolina. They are an ISO 9001:2015 Certified independent service provider for radiotherapy equipment, most notably external beam linear accelerators (Varian, Elekta, Siemens). For over 25-years, RSA has supported the oncology community by delivering responsive, personable, and proactive service to help clients deliver their best care. Learn more about their company, their culture, and their services at www.rsa-inc.com. We look forward to meeting you!