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.

 

Kelly Skelton - Registry Project Manager & Communications Officer

Kelly Skelton is the Project Manager for the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR) 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) Radiation Oncology Department’s Paediatric Proton Photon Consortium Registry.

Kelly has more than 12 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 degree in cancer sciences.

Kelly was the recipient of a 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.

 

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.  In 2021, he will convene the National Particle Therapy Symposium to be held in Adelaide, South Australia.