Associate Professor Michael Penniment AM

Associate Professor Michael Penniment AM is a senior radiation oncologist consulting at Icon Cancer Centre. In 1986, he completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Adelaide and in 1995 became a fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR). He completed specialist oncology training in Brisbane, Queensland prior to becoming a founder of the North Queensland Oncology service in Townsville.

In 1996, Michael returned to Adelaide as a consultant radiation oncologist and completed his MBA at the University of Adelaide, receiving the honour of mace-bearer as the highest candidate of the professions. With an active interest in the provision of radiation oncology services in rural and remote areas, Michael established Darwin’s Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre (AWCCC) in 2010 and remains its Director. In addition to his role at Icon and AWCCC, Michael is the Director of Radiation Oncology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital.

Throughout his career, Michael has maintained an active interest in research, quality improvement and governance, holding key positions including with the Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee from 2003 until 2010 and as a RANZCR Faculty Board member between 2006 and 2011. He is currently a member of the RANZCR Particle Therapy Group and several other leading cancer trial groups including the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) and the Trans Tasman Oncology Group (TROG).  In 2014, Michael was awarded the Best of ASTRO (USA) and Trial Excellence Award (TROG) for his work on a palliative oesophageal trial evaluating the efficacy of radiation therapy versus combined therapy treatment to decrease swallowing complications experienced by advanced oesophageal cancer patients.

Michael sits on the Board of the Asia-Oceania Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG-AO). He is involved in a number of Australian and international research projects with a focus on planning and developing new radiation therapy facilities and improving Indigenous cancer care and quality of life during cancer treatment. Michael’s clinical experience covers a broad range of solid tumour malignancies with special interest in breast cancer, head and neck cancer, upper gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer and skin cancers.

In January 2021, Michael was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to medicine, and to radiation oncology.

 

Associate Professor Hien Le

Associate Professor Hien Le is a Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Radiation Oncologist with clinical interests in the application of innovative and emerging cancer technologies. He is the departmental Head of Research and also adjunct Associate Professor at the University of South Australia.

Hien received the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Windeyer Fellowship award in 2011 and with this spent a year at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (UK) learning the techniques involved in Cyberknife radiation and MRI-based image-guided brachytherapy. In 2013, he received the College Thomas Baker award and went to the Massachusetts General Hospital in the US where he learned the applications of spread out Bragg peak and intensity modulated proton therapy.

In 2014, he co-ordinated the treatment of South Australia’s first stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy patient and is the clinical lead for this important program at the RAH. He is the chairperson of the main Neuro-Oncology multidisciplinary meeting for the state. Additionally, Hien is the lead investigator on a number of Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) trials, local clinical trials and is a member of the Particle Therapy Special Interest Group. In 2020 he became the TROG Chairperson of the Particle Therapy Special Interest Group.

Hien has been successful in winning several national and local competitive grants including the Medical Research Future Fund grant for the MASTERPLAN clinical trial in 2018 and the Australian Research Data Commons platform grant in 2020. He is currently the research supervisor for multiple post-graduate students including PhD and Master’s students.

Hien Le has been a key collaborator in the dissemination of information and international key stakeholder involvement for the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research.

Associate Professor Peter Gorayski

Associate Professor Peter Gorayski is an experienced radiation oncologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) with clinical expertise in the management of complex cancers. He is an Associate Professor at the University of South Australia and Honorary Fellow at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

At the RAH, Peter leads the implementation of state-of-the-art technology applications including automation and machine learning solutions, prostate stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) and the Rapid Access Palliative Radiotherapy Service (RAPRS). He provides comparative photon/proton planning services for Australian patients seeking proton therapy as part of Medical Treatment Overseas Program (MTOP).

Peter is an examiner for the Faculty of Radiation Oncology at the Royal Australian and New College of Radiologists (RANZCR) and is a research supervisor for radiation oncology trainees, post-graduate and PhD students. He is an investigator on multiple Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology (TROG) trials and has a number of peer-reviewed medical education and clinical research publications.

Peter has been instrumental in promoting proton therapy patient advocacy nationally and is a member of the Particle Therapy Special Interest Group at RANZCR. In collaboration with SAHMRI and Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR), Peter is developing a series of webinars focusing on improving the radiation experience for patients and families.

Dr Scott Penfold - Lead Medical Physicist

Dr Scott Penfold is the Lead Medical Physicist at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR). He is an Affiliate Senior Lecturer with the Department of Physics at the University of Adelaide. He previously worked as a medical physicist with the Radiation Oncology Department at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Scott first started working in the field of proton therapy during his PhD studies at the University of Wollongong in 2007. The project investigated image reconstruction methods in proton computed tomography. During his PhD, Scott was supported by a Cancer Institute NSW Research Scholars Award to spend time at Loma Linda University Medical Centre, the site of the world’s first hospital-based proton therapy system. Since then Scott has continued to work with collaborators to undertake research in proton therapy, having published 18 peer-reviewed journal articles in the field.

Following the announcement of Federal Funding to support the Australian Bragg Centre project, Scott instigated the Particle Therapy Working Group (PTWG) within the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM). Scott continues to Chair the group and work closely with members distributed throughout Australia.

Scott has led the radiation safety assessment of the ABCPTR and worked closely with the Clinical Reference Group in end-user design aspects.

Scott’s ultimate objective is to use physics to improve the patient experience in radiotherapy, be it through more precise delivery, shorter treatment courses or improving access by reducing costs.

 

Dr Alex Santos - Medical Physicist

Dr Alexandre Santos is a Medical Physicist at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR). He is also a Clinical Medical Physicist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) and the coordinator of the Medical Physics group at the University of Adelaide. Alex is the Lead Physicist for external beam radiotherapy treatments, image guidance radiotherapy and research in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the RAH. At the University of Adelaide, he coordinates and teaches into 5 master’s courses, and supervisors several research master’s and PhD students.

Alex was awarded his PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Adelaide in July 2016. In the same year he also completed the Training, Education and Accreditation Program and became a certified ROMP with the Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM). Thanks to the support of a Cancer Council SA Beat Cancer Project Travel Grant, he was able to spend 3 months at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, shadowing Clinical Medical Physicists and undertook a research project in proton therapy.

Since that time Alex has been actively involved in comparative planning of proton treatments at the RAH and proton therapy related research. Alex has a major interest in the research, development and implementation of particle therapy in Australia, and he is an active member of the particle therapy working group (PTWG) within the ACPSEM.

Kelly Skelton - Registry Project Manager & Communications Officer

Kelly Skelton is the Project Manager for the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR) Clinical Quality Cancer Registry. She also currently holds the role of Communication Officer for the centre.

Kelly formerly worked for the Youth Cancer Service SA/NT as a Research Nurse and Data Manager and is the Project Manager for the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Department of Radiation Oncology – Paediatric Proton Photon Consortium Registry (PPCR). Kelly has significant experience in data management and registries, holding a previous position as a Clinical Research Associate for the Australasian Oncofertility Future Fertility Registry. She has also made significant contributions to the Canteen Minimum Dataset project in the areas of adolescent and young adult cancer staging.

Kelly has more than 13 years’ nursing experience working in the Cancer Centre/Radiotherapy Department at the RAH. She has completed a post graduate certificate in adolescent health and wellbeing – oncology stream and is currently in the final semester of her Master’s in Cancer Sciences.

Kelly was the recipient of an SA Health Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Award for her dedicated service to clinical practice.

She is an active member of a number of working groups involved in the operational functions of the ABCPTR and continues to collaborate with several key stakeholders around the design, implementation and work being completed for the Centre.

 

Melanie Penfold - Comparative Planning Coordinator

Melanie Penfold is the Comparative Planning Coordinator at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR). She has more than 15 years’ experience as a Radiation Therapist in the public and private health sector both Nationally and Internationally.

With roles in Australia, the UK and the USA Melanie has worked both clinically and as a proton therapy application specialist working with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Melanie has substantial experience in the start-up processes of radiotherapy treatment centres with significant achievements in setting up the radiotherapy department in the United Kingdom’s, London Clinic.

She has also played a key role in implementing advanced techniques such as Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR), CyberKnife and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT). She is actively involved in contributing to the proton therapy community and currently holds the chair position of the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT) Particle Therapy Working Group. Additionally, Melanie is an active member on the TROG Particle Therapy Special Interest Group. She has also made valuable contributions in the area of comparative planning with assessing and producing guidelines as part of the National Comparative Planning Service in her role in the National Tripartite Proton Planning Working Group.

Melanie is an enthusiastic lifelong learner and completed her Master of Business Administration in 2018. She is passionate about her goal in ensuring that all Australians receive the best possible care and treatment during their cancer journey.

Rosanna Crain - Comparative Planning Radiation Therapist

Rosanna Crain is one of our Comparative Planning Radiation Therapists at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR). She has more than 13 years’ experience as a Radiation Therapist with previous positions at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre in the Northern Territory and currently in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

Rosanna has a high level of technical knowledge across a number of modalities & multiple Treatment Planning Systems including but not limited to conformal, Superficial X-Rays, Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy, Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy, Deep Inspiration Breath Hold, Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy and paediatric treatment and planning.  She also has significant experience in proton planning on Raystation, Eclipse and Monaco Treatment Planning Systems.

Rosanna has been part of the implementation team of new and developing techniques such as SABR prostate & the viability of free-breathing VMAT Breast & Chest wall plans at the RAH. With significant experience in drafting protocols for new techniques & reviewing documentation. While working in the Northern Territory she was a key collaborator in creating a range of Indigenous information videos and was actively involved in Closing the Gap activities within the First Nations patient cohort.

Rosanna is also an exceptional artist and has been a pioneer in painting the immobilisation masks for treating paediatric patients at the RAH ensuring a holistic approach to patient care.

Emma Shierlaw - Comparative Planning Radiation Therapist

Emma Shierlaw is one of our Comparative Planning Radiation Therapists at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR). She has more than 14 years’ experience as a Radiation Therapist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

Emma has led the RAH Proton Comparative Planning team for the past four years. She is highly experienced in radiotherapy treatment planning and has developed advanced planning skills across a variety of treatment planning software programs, including RayStation, Pinnacle, Eclipse and Monaco.

She is adept at managing data transfers from interstate referrers, communicating with the multidisciplinary team, completing high quality comparative photon and proton plans and producing documentation to summarise the comparative planning process. Emma has been a leader in the training development arena and has been responsible for the implementation of training programs for other Radiation Therapists in RayStation planning and Intensity Modulating Proton Therapy planning.

Emma also has a strong background in research and has been an active part of the RAH Research Team including dosimetry specialist for the Paediatric Proton Photon Consortium Registry.