A proposal for the establishment of the Australian Particle Therapy Centre for Advanced Cancer Care

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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Australia has been for many years the leading centre for cancer treatment in South East Asia, with a large number of conventional photon radiation therapy facilities distributed throughout the states. However, a new technology for radiotherapy has become widely used in advanced countries, especially for those cancers difficult to treat by conventional photon radiation therapy. These include tumours near critical organs or body structures or those in paediatric patients. This new technology which is based on the use of high energy light ions such as protons or carbon ions is generally referred to as Particle Therapy (sometimes Hadron Therapy) and includes the more limited subgroup, Proton Therapy. This new technology makes use of the more precise and highly controllable characteristics of high energy particles beams that are able to destroy tumours near vital organs, while minimising the dose to healthy tissues. Although this technology provides better outcomes for up to 90% of all tumours, there are in Australia each year 600 cancer sufferers for whom there are no alternatives other than chemotherapy. This technology has been adopted in many countries and at this time more than 110,000 patients have been treated overseas. There are currently 13 operating facilities in the USA with 12 under construction. Germany and Japan each have 5 centres and there are facilities in another 11 countries. Currently, there are no facilities in Australia and thus patients desperately in need of this technology are obliged to seek access to centres overseas at great cost and with limited possibility of access. The seriousness of this situation is especially relevant as cancer has now become the major cause of death in Australia and1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females will have cancer by the age of 85. The need for a Particle Therapy facility in Australia has been recognised by numerous specialist groups and there has been a number of attempts to obtain the funds to construct such a facility. These have tended to be special interest groups and none was successful. Over the last four years, ANSTO has brought this disparate group of specialists together to form a collaboration (The Australian Particle Therapy Consortium). Following extensive consultation and considerable technical development and in the collaboration, a proposal has emerged for a very high performance facility at a very competitive capital cost. The collaboration members include oncologists, surgeons, paediatricians, accelerator scientists and medical and atomic physicists. The proposed Australian Particle Therapy Facility will cost up to $230 M depending upon the chosen site and option, and can be constructed and commissioned in four years. Operating costs in today's dollars are $22 M. After three years of operation, the number of patients treated in one year will be 1100. There are prospects to increase this number to 2000 as the facility and technology are developed. At this time no site has been selected. it is believed that an independent review should be conducted to evaluate the optimum and most efficient site. Criteria for site selection are included in this document.
Australia, Neoplasms, Therapy, Particles, Hadrons, Radiotherapy, Patients, Particle beams, Animal tissues, Cyclotrons
Boldeman, J. (2014). A proposal for the establishment of the Australian Particle Therapy Centre for Advanced Cancer Care. (E-792). Lucas Heights: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.