Overview of the Comparative Planning Service:
While proton beam therapy (PBT) is not yet available in Australia, Australian patients wishing to access this form of treatment can apply for Federal Government funding through the Medical Treatment Overseas Program (MTOP). Only certain cancer types will be considered under MTOP, so please consult with your local Radiation Oncologist for eligibility. If eligible, applications for MTOP require a comparative PBT treatment plan.
Comparative treatment planning is a process in which the radiation dosimetry of a conventional X-ray therapy (XRT) treatment plan is compared with that of a PBT treatment plan. By reviewing the distribution of radiation dosimetry, the potential clinical benefit, or otherwise, of PBT can be assessed.
The Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR) offers a bulk-billed national service to generate comparative PBT treatment plans for MTOP applications. The ABCPTR will generate PBT plans as per the National Proton-Photon Comparative Planning Consensus Guidelines (currently in development).
- Produce PBT plans for comparative purposes, for patients where a clinical benefit may be predicted from protons
- Inform the decision-making process for referral of patients overseas for PBT
- Provide evidence to support the application for government funding for overseas treatment
- Foster national collaboration and learning to ensure all patients who are likely to benefit from PBT have access to this treatment
Ownership of Data and Intellectual Property:
The patients’ original radiotherapy planning data will remain the property of the requesting institution, however the ABCPTR will retain de-identified copies in a database that may be used for research and publication purposes. The referring Radiation Oncologist is responsible for ensuring the patient’s consent.
Comparative plans are produced in a research environment and are not to be used for treatment. The ABCPTR accepts no responsibility for clinical decisions or outcomes.