Major proton therapy milestone for Australians in need

The ability for Australians to access revolutionary life-saving treatment for paediatric and rare cancers has been greatly improved by the Federal Government’s decision to add proton beam therapy to the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

The Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research, currently under construction in a project spearheaded by SAHMRI, will be Australia’s first proton therapy unit and the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

SAHMRI Executive Director, Professor Steve Wesselingh, welcomed the decision as providing financial and emotional relief during an enormously stressful time.

“A cancer diagnosis doesn’t just impact the individual, it’s felt by their entire family and support network, even more so when it involves a child,” Professor Wesselingh said.

“Proton therapy is the most expensive treatment ever listed on the MBS, which shows how important this decision is to provide public funding for those in need.”

Proton therapy is a precision form of non-invasive cancer treatment that targets tumours while reducing radiation exposure to surrounding tissues compared to conventional radiotherapy. This means it can more safely treat cancers close to vital organs such as the brain and spinal column and is especially effective for treating children.

Currently, Australians seeking proton therapy must privately fund the cost of overseas treatment or apply for the Federal Government’s Medical Treatment Overseas Program. Even if approved for financial support, the emotional costs of relocating and undergoing treatment away from friends and family can be considerable.

The decision to add proton therapy to the MBS was announced by the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt, following advice from the Medical Services Advisory Committee.

“SAHMRI and our partners in the Australian Bragg Centre development have worked closely with the Federal Department of Health over the past 18 months to present the case that Australians deserve subsidised access to proton therapy,” Professor Wesselingh said.

“Thanks to this, Australian families won’t have to put a price on their health when making decisions about which treatment to seek for rare cancers.”

Australia’s first proton therapy unit will be housed in a shielded concrete bunker in the basement of the Australian Bragg Centre, which is currently under construction in Adelaide. The building is expected to be completed in 2023. From then, the proton therapy machine will undergo 12-18 months of installation and testing before patient treatments begin.

“A new, safer cancer treatment to improve patient outcomes will be the primary and most important function of the Centre,” Professor Wesselingh said.

“However, this facility will also play a vital role in international proton therapy research. The use of protons for treatment is relatively new, so medical science has only scratched the surface of what cancers it could potentially be used to treat.”

The Centre will also become a hub for the training and development of proton therapy professionals to staff new centres arising throughout the Asia-Pacific region in future.

The Australian Bragg Centre is funded by a public/private partnership including SAHMRI, Commercial & General, the Federal Government and the South Australian Government.

https://www.sahmri.org/sahmri-theme/news-356/

SA charity delivers huge funding boost for cancer treatment centre

SA charity delivers huge funding boost for cancer treatment centre

Published by SAHMRI

September 7th 2021

The Hospital Research Foundation Group has pledged more than $2 million to support critical start-up operations for the new Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research – soon to be the first facility in the southern hemisphere to offer lifesaving proton treatment.

Key medical specialists will be recruited as part of a $1.4 million grant over three years, including a Clinical Project Manager, Medical Physicist, Radiation Therapist, Paediatric Medical Oncologist and part-time Radiation Oncologist for the SAHMRI-based facility.

“We’re truly thankful to The Hospital Research Foundation Group for its vision and foresight to support research and medical expertise that will make a profound impact on outcomes for cancer patients,” said Professor Steve WesselinghSAHMRI’s Executive Director.

THRF Group has also committed a further $628,000 over two years to establish the Australian Proton Therapy Clinical Quality Registry. The registry will collect and record cancer treatment details and patient outcomes from across the country, providing further information on the types of cases that would benefit from Proton Beam Therapy (PBT).

“The National Proton Therapy Clinical Quality Registry is extremely important. Through the collection of data comparing the efficacy and side effects of proton therapy against traditional radiotherapy, we can hone our understanding of which cancer treatments can benefit most from this emerging technology,” Prof Wesselingh said.

The Bragg Centre’s revolutionary technology will be able to target and destroy cancer cells using radiation without damaging healthy tissues by delivering powerful proton beams to precisely where they’re needed. The unit will see around 800 patients treated every year.

Brain tumour survivor and nurse at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Kate Pagnozzi was in her early 20s when she had to travel overseas to receive treatment and said it was a frightening experience.

“Having Proton Therapy in Adelaide will be a game-changer. People will no longer have to pack their entire belongings and move halfway across the world to access this life-changing treatment,” Kate said.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group CEO Paul Flynn said the organisation was proud to support this world-leading and lifesaving treatment for young people impacted by cancer and their families.

“As the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research is going to transform the cancer treatment landscape. People will travel to Adelaide from all over Australia and beyond to receive this therapy,” Paul said.

“We’re thrilled to be involved with a medical facility that will save and improve lives. These grants have been made possible thanks to the generous support of our donors and ticket buyers in The Hospital Research Foundation Home Lottery.”

https://www.sahmri.org/sahmri-theme/news-362/

 Commercial & General founder Jamie McClurg donates $1m to Adelaide Proton Therapy and Research Centre

 Commercial & General founder Jamie McClurg donates $1m to Adelaide Proton Therapy and Research Centre

Published by The Advertiser – August 2021

Story by: Brad Crouch

A $1m philanthropic donation will turbocharge South Australia’s place as an international cancer treatment centre based around the planned proton therapy unit to destroy inoperable tumours.

The nation’s first unit will be at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research — previously known as SAHMRI 2 – being built next to the original South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) headquarters in the Adelaide BioMed City precinct.

Founder of leading construction firm Commercial & General Jamie McClurg has made a $1m donation for The McClurg Brain Cancer Fellowship to attract a leading brain cancer clinician/researcher on a multi-year appointment.

SAHMRI executive director Professor Steve Wesselingh hailed the donation as “transformational” in the fight against brain cancer.

“Jamie’s generosity will make all the difference and the timing is ideal as we work towards delivering the most advanced cancer treatment available at the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research,” Prof Wesselingh said.

“A donation of this scale from an individual is extremely rare for Adelaide and we are fortunate that in Jamie we have someone who has both a deep understanding of and a passion for health as well as the ability to think big.”

Commercial & General is the State’s largest developer, responsible for $2.2bn in projects including the new Calvary Adelaide Hospital and the half-billion dollar Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy.

It was this association and learning how proton therapy would be a gamechanger for cancer patients, particularly children, that prompted Mr McClurg’s gift.

“Health is one of the key pillars of our State’s future economic growth, and it is generally acknowledged that a strong health economy can only exist if it is underpinned by a powerful medical research capability,” he said.

“SAHMRI is the flagship of that capability in South Australia but, as a comparatively young institute, it has become something of a victim of its own success.

“The Productivity Commission recently made note of SAHMRI’s significant contributions to our state’s medical research sector, however for every dollar of competitive grant funding won, institutes like SAHMRI need to find another fifty cents in third party funding to cover the gap in overheads that grants don’t meet.

“I can’t cure cancer. But I believe it’s up to people like me who have built my life in South Australia to ensure we are doing as much as we can to help those who are devoting their professional lives to creating a healthier future for our children.”

SAHMRI is approaching potential candidates for The McClurg Brain Cancer Fellowship with an appointment expected to be made early in 2022, while the proton beam therapy unit should be ready to treat patients in 2024-25.

As an independent not-for-profit research institute, SAHMRI relies on the generosity of the community it serves to continue its life-changing research.

“We can’t do what we do without the support of our community,” Prof Wesselingh said.

“Philanthropic donations give us the flexibility to pursue research where it is most needed, without needing to adhere rigidly to the controls placed on public funding.

“We have so many wonderful supporters across business, community groups and individuals, but a contribution like this from Jamie speaks to the boldness of his leadership.

“This donation, I believe, is another indication that Adelaide is maturing as an economy and that our philanthropic community is growing alongside that.”

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sahmri-2-commercial-general-founder-jamie-mcclurg-donates-1m-to-adelaide-proton-therapy-and-research-centre/news-story/46860a6721739df4a701329e96bfffda

Proton therapy ‘better’ for kids’ cancer

Proton therapy ‘better’ for kids’ cancer

Published in the Australian – November 2020

Story By: Kieran Gair

 

By the time two-year-old Zoe Bedford underwent emergency surgery, a grapefruit-sized tumour had coiled around her ­spinal cord.

Zoe, now aged 14, had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare, fast-growing cancer of the spinal cord that is often associated with teenage boys and is seldom found in toddlers.

“The tumour was actually touching her heart and lungs,” says Vikki Bedford, Zoe’s mum. “Only about five toddlers in the world have had Ewing’s sarcoma, so it was a huge shock.”

The surgery occurred just before Christmas in 2008, and while doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital in the US managed to slow the tumour’s march, Ms Bedford’s relief was short-lived.

“It was two millimetres from breaking the dermal wall, which meant the tumour would have got into the spinal cord,” she said. “We caught it in time but there was a lot of tumour left.”

Zoe, a dual Australian-US citizen who moved to Adelaide in 2013, received 24 rounds of proton therapy radiation, a treatment that attacks cancerous tumours with beams of magnet-controlled protons.

Doctors believe the treatment, which delivers radiation through the skin from a machine outside the body, could help save the lives of about 700 Australians each year.

But the life-saving treatment won’t be available in Australia until 2025 when the $500m Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy opens in Adelaide. To access the treatment — widely viewed as the most advanced radiation therapy available — families can apply for financial assistance from the federal government before going overseas.

However, in the 12 months to July, only eight people received financial assistance for proton therapy from the federal government’s medical treatment overseas program.

Even before the pandemic, the situation wasn’t much better. Just 10 people secured government funding to undergo proton therapy overseas in 2018-19.

“Everyone, from oncologists to cancer practitioners, have a knowledge deficit around proton therapy,” said Michael Penniment, a radiation oncologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“It’s not a different treatment, and it’s not drug versus radiation, it’s just a better way to do radiation,” he said. “The message about the value of proton therapy is just not out there.”

Dr Penniment said brain tumours comprise 20 per cent of all childhood cancers and account for almost 40 per cent of paediatric cancer deaths in Australia.

“With proton you can deliver a much higher dose but stop it before it hits critical structures, like the base of your skull or your spinal cord,” he said. “In children, you can also spare growing bones which are really sensitive to radiotherapy, and while it’s still expensive we’ve reached the point in Australia where it’s a doable project.”

In a bid to plug the knowledge gap, Mikaela Dell’Oro, a researcher at the University of South Australia, has been investigating the benefits of proton therapy for children with brain cancer.

“Should we use it to treat a five-year-old female with a tumour close to the brain stem, or for a 13-year-old boy with a tumour closer to the optical structure?” she said.

“We know that proton therapy, compared to x-ray radiation, has fewer developmental side effects on children with brain tumours, but we need to dig deeper.”

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/proton-therapy-better-for-kids-cancer/news-story/e8501cfd17b789ed813517094c366386

 

 

Sod-turning signals start of work on $500m Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research building, housing Australia’s first cancer-blasting proton therapy unit

Sod-turning signals start of work on $500m Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research building, housing Australia’s first cancer-blasting proton therapy unit

Published by The Advertiser – June 2020

Story By: Brad Crouch

 

 

Work has started on the new $500 million SAHMRI 2 medical research building, which will house Australia’s first cancer-busting proton therapy unit when it is finished in 2023.

A new era of health care in South Australia formally starts construction today as the first sod is turned on the Australian Bragg Centre housing the nation’s first proton therapy unit capable of pulverising inoperable cancer tumours.

Developer Commercial & General will own the $500 million building adjacent the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) on North Terrace and expects the project to create around 1000 construction jobs.

It will generate an estimated $1 billion in economic activity during construction by builders Lendlease, and is due for completion in late 2023.

The development had previously been estimated to cost $330 million and scheduled for completion in 2022.

The extra cost of the project and later completion date were partly blamed on major remediation ground works and dealing with installing the new technology.

The planned 12-storey building, previously nicknamed SAHMRI 2, will house around 400 researchers and will be home to the new $80 million SAiGEN Cancer Institute’s genomic and immunotherapy facility well as other tenants.

However its centrepiece will be housed deep in a three-storey underground bunker — the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research’s Pro Tom Radiance 330 unit will treat around 700 patients a year, destroying cancer cells with radiation without damaging healthy tissues by delivering powerful proton beams precisely where needed.

It means patients will no longer need to travel overseas at huge cost for lifesaving treatment.

The first patients are expected within 18 months of the building’s completion.

About half the number of future patients is expected to be children, paying around $40,000 for treatment compared to $250,000 in the US. This may be subsidised when it is available.

Revenue for treatment, including from overseas patients, will help cover SAHMRI’s rental costs.

A National Partnership Agreement between the Federal Government and State Government provides $68 million to fund the proton therapy facility which is in addition to the $47 million from the State Government covering the land and relocation of major rail infrastructure from the site.

Commercial & General — which developed the new $345 million Calvary Adelaide Hospital — executive chairman Jamie McClurg said major construction would commence next month and follows four years of hard work and commitment by all involved.

“Our health team has been forging strategic alliances with leading cancer centres around the world to ensure the Australian Bragg Centre can be a beacon for sufferers and researchers,” Mr McClurg said.

“What we have been able to achieve through this innovative partnership between the private sector and federal and state governments is one major multi-institutional complex with a single aim — to attack cancer from every angle for the benefit of patients now and in the future.”

Premier Steven Marshall said the project will bolster the state’s international credentials and create significant economic stimulus and jobs in the wake of COVID-19.

“This significant development will put SA on the map as a pioneer in world-leading, lifesaving proton therapy cancer treatment,” he said.

“It will also provide the state’s building industry with significant economic stimulus as we emerge from the greatest economic challenge of our time, supporting as many as 1000 jobs and generating an estimated $1 billion in economic activity during the construction phase.”

Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said the state-of-the-art facility will provide world-class care, closer to home.

“South Australians, and people throughout the nation, will no longer need to go overseas to get the care they need,” he said.

The building and proton therapy unit is another giant stride for the SA Health and Biomedical Precinct.

The area is now home to the original “cheesegrater” SAHMRI headquarters, the $2.4 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital, $246 million University of Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building and the $247 million University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute.

It will also be home to the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sod-turning-signals-start-of-work-on-500m-million-sahmri-2-building-housing-australias-first-cancerblasting-proton-therapy-unit/news-story/c586becfe4affa18f01475fbb93cbef6

Proton therapy focus

Proton therapy focus

Published in INDAILY – June 2020

Story By: Andrew Spence

 

Construction of the long-awaited SAHMRI 2 building on North Terrace will start next month, creating up to 1000 jobs.

To be known as the Australian Bragg Centre, the $500 million project will be home to the first Proton Therapy Unit in Australia, delivering advanced precision radiation treatment.

However, the first cancer patients will not be treated at the facility until 2025, about 18 months after the building’s expected completion in late 2023.

The 12-storey building, including three levels underground, will be developed and owned by SA developer Commercial & General and built by Lendlease. The new building will also be designed by architects Woods Bagot, which won a swag of awards for its “cheese grater” SAHMRI design.

Commercial & General, which recently completed the $345 million Calvary Adelaide Hospital in Angas St, is providing almost $400 million in project finance and has worked in collaboration with SAHMRI to develop the business case.

The Federal Government is providing $68 million through a National Partnership Agreement.

The State Government, which will be a cornerstone tenant through SA Health, is chipping in $47.4 million, including a $10.6 million grant to assist in the planning and development phase and $36.8 million to relocate the Train Control Centre from North Terrace to Dry Creek, making the site ready for development.

The building will sit snugly between the original SAHMRI building, which opened in 2013, and the University of Adelaide’s Health & Medical Science Building that was opened in 2017.

The former Weatherill state government committed to building a second SAHMRI building in the Adelaide BioMed Precinct in 2017 when it announced it would provide a 99-year lease on the land and move the Train Operation Control Centre.

As well as hosting the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy & Research, the building is also expected to be home to the SAiGEN Cancer Institute, a new independent genomics and immunotherapy centre dedicated to cancer research.

It will also allow SAHMRI to expand its research capacity in artificial intelligence, machine learning, health analytics and will make another floor available for health, biomed and pharmaceutical industries to gain a footprint in Adelaide BioMed City.

When in full operation, it is estimated as many as 600-700 patients will be able to be treated at the facility each year – with around half of these expected to be children and young adults.

SAHMRI Executive Director Professor Steve Wesselingh said the Australian Bragg Centre would be built on the emerging technology of proton therapy.

“The building’s three underground levels are dedicated to a facility that will not only deliver life-saving treatment to cancer patients, in particular children, but will provide potential for research to unlock further benefits of this relatively new field and be a training ground for proton therapy specialists from throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond,” he said.

“This building will also facilitate innovation spanning a range of fields including research and development, clinical trials and training.”

Commercial & General Executive Chair Jamie McClurg said this morning’s announcement was the culmination of four years of hard work by all those involved.

“Our health team has been forging strategic alliances with leading cancer centres around the world to ensure that the Australian Bragg Centre can be a beacon for sufferers and researchers,” he said.

“What we’ve been able to achieve through this innovative partnership between the private sector and Federal and State governments is on multi-institutional complex with a single aim – to attack cancer from every angle for the benefit of patients now and in the future.”

ProTom International will install its Radiance 330 proton therapy system at the centre, the same as is used at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

President and CEO Stephen Spotts said ProTom was delighted to provide a key element of the new centre.

“The Radiance 330 will revolutionise cancer treatment not only in South Australia, or even Australia, but across the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Premier Steven Marshall said this project will further bolster the state’s international credentials and create significant economic stimulus and jobs in the wake of COVID-19.

“This significant development will put SA on the map as a pioneer in world-leading, lifesaving proton therapy cancer treatment,” he said.

“It will also provide the state’s building industry with significant economic stimulus as we emerge from the greatest economic challenge of our time, supporting as many as 1000 jobs and generating an estimated $1 billion in economic activity during the construction phase.

“We are pleased to support this project and look forward to it coming to fruition as a new, iconic landmark along North Terrace.”

The centre will take its name from pioneering South Australian scientists William and Lawrence Bragg, who shared the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics, in recognition of their work on protons and x-ray.

Lawrence Bragg was born in Adelaide in the late 19th century when the family lived here, and attended St Peter’s College and Adelaide University.

https://indaily.com.au/news/local/2020/06/10/proton-therapy-focus-of-sahmri-2/

Giant strides towards our first proton therapy unit for tumours

Giant strides towards our first proton therapy unit for tumours

Published By The Advertiser – May 2019

Story By: Brad Crouch

 

Nurse Kate Pagnozzi had to take a frightening trip to the other side of the world destroy a brain tumour. Others may soon find the same treatment in Adelaide.

When Kate Pagnozzi, 22, faced the daunting challenge of proton therapy treatment to pulverise an inoperable brain tumour, she had to deal with the “terrifying” ordeal of flying to Jacksonville, Florida for 10 weeks.

Kate is now back in Australia optimistically waiting for scans to show the success of the treatment — and is thrilled that Australia’s first planned proton therapy unit in Adelaide has taken several strides forward.

“Maybe I’ll work there one day,” the registered nurse from Windsor Gardens said.

The Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research will be in a bunker in the planned $300 million SAHMRI 2 building, next to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) “cheesegrater” building on North Terrace.

The unit will treat around 800 patients a year, destroying cancer cells with radiation without damaging healthy tissues by delivering powerful proton beams precisely where needed.

Many will be South Australians like Kate who will no longer have to travel overseas for lifesaving treatment, while others will come from interstate and overseas to the SA Health and Biomedical Precinct.

In several landmark strides towards the only proton therapy unit in the southern hemisphere:

THE National Partnership Agreement between the Federal Government and State Government for $68 million to fund a new Proton Therapy Facility has been executed, meaning the first payment of $26.7 million from the Commonwealth can be made;

THIS is in addition to $44 million from the State which includes the land and relocation of major rail infrastructure on the site;

GLOBAL construction firm Lend Lease has been appointed by Adelaide developer Commercial & General as the builder;

SITE works are expected to commence this year and the SAHMRI 2 building finished by 2022;

SAHMRI has commenced a training plan to prepare the future professionals including clinicians from UniSA and the University of Adelaide, and is working with other global centres of excellence such as Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Pennsylvania and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in the UK to develop the expertise required to treat patients.

SAHMRI executive director Steve Wesselingh said South Australians can feel proud that SAHMRI has been chosen to develop Australia’s first proton therapy unit.

“These milestones are major steps towards a time in the near future when cancer patients, in particular children, will be able to readily access this lifesaving technology in Australia,” he said.

Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said the federal-state agreement is the next important step in delivering a world-class health and medical precinct.

“The facility will reiterate South Australia’s position on the health and medical research world stage — but most importantly it will improve the lives of patients,” he said.

For Kate, the unit will save others the ordeal she endured after what she thought was a blocked ear turned out to be a brain tumour.

She underwent surgery in October 2016 in the Royal Adelaide Hospital which removed about 95 per cent of the tumour, but a tiny residue too risky to remove was left.

Last September she left with her mother Natalie for Jacksonville, Florida, to undergo proton therapy treatment in an effort to destroy the remnant.

“I was terrified,” Kate said. “I had never been to America. I was not going there for a holiday, I was going for treatment, and there was a lot to take in while I was focused on my health.

“It’s completely different from Australia and I had to worry about all the differences between Australia and America, such as driving on the other side of the road and the different currency, and worry about my health at the same time.’’

During her 10 week stay other family members made a surprise visit, to her delight.

She has had just one scan since, as it takes time for the treatment to subside but is optimistic for the future.

“You have to have a positive mindset,” she said.

“I am glad other people in the future will be able to get this treatment at home.”

Kate’s mother Natalie Salvati is also pleased — she has been campaigning for proton therapy unit in Australia including with an online petition.

“It has been overwhelming reading stories from people who have been affected in the same way as Kate, in varying degrees, and not knowing what the future will bring for them,” she said.

“I sincerely hope that we have this lifesaving equipment in Australia, considering that the USA has over 40 of these machines alone. It has been an emotional rollercoaster ride with Kate, and something that no patient or carer should have to go through.”

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/giant-strides-towards-our-first-proton-therapy-unit-for-tumours/news-story/f1ac7691145ad04002b7c78407e6818f

Shona’s desperate race again time to fight off rare cancer

Shona’s desperate race again time to fight off rare cancer

Published by The Advertiser – October 2018

Story By: Elisa Black

 

SHONA Edwards needs a special type of therapy that will be available when SAHMRI 2 is completed here in Adelaide next year. But she can’t wait that long, sparking a desperate mission to get the young woman the help she needs to survive.

BE glad, be good, be brave – Shona Edwards has thought a lot about those words this year.

She thought about them when doctors found an 18cm tumour at the base of her spine in March after years of pain.

When surgery in May to cut the mass from her body had to be stopped as she began to bleed out.

And again when she woke and discovered the operation had left her with nerve damage that means she cannot control her bladder and sometimes has to use a wheelchair.

Be glad, be good, be brave. These are the words that Shona, 23, hopes will get her over the next hurdle with as much grace as possible.

Doctors say the only way to potentially treat her cancer – a rare papillary meningioma that has wrapped itself around nerves in her lower back – is proton beam radiation.

Adelaide will be the first place in Australia to offer the treatment when SAHMRI 2 is complete but Shona needs the therapy now.

People say ‘I’d be a mess if I was you’, but you just deal with it as best you can.

“The tumour won’t respond to chemo, and regular radiation treatment would put me at risk of organ damage and secondary tumours,’’ she said.

First images, video of the $300 million Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research in Adelaide’s health and biomedical precinct

First images, video of the $300 million Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research in Adelaide’s health and biomedical precinct

Published by The Advertiser – June 2018

Story By: Brad Crouch

 

THE innovative future of healthcare in Adelaide has taken another step forward, as details of the imposing new $300 million SAHMRI 2 project are revealed.

Architectural drawings show how the futuristic building will rise next to the iconic SA Health and Medical Research Institute, dubbed the “cheese grater”, in the multibillion-dollar SA Health and Biomedical Precinct.

It will house the southern hemisphere’s first proton therapy unit capable of killing inoperable cancers.

Its centrepiece will be a three-storey treatment and research bunker housing the proton therapy unit.

As well as helping local families who face mortgaging homes to seek such treatment overseas, the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research will draw patients from interstate and overseas plus researchers in a wealth and health boost for SA.

SAHMRI 2’s neighbours include the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the University of Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, the UniSA Health Innovation Building and SAHMRI, which together form Adelaide BioMed City.

An application for planning approval for SAHMRI 2 was submitted in April following legal, financial and technical due diligence processes and the building is expected to be finished by 2021, creating 250 jobs in construction.

The 14-storey SAHMRI 2 will house more than 400 researchers in the first three floors, and the proton therapy unit will treat around 800 people a year.

The State Government has committed $44 million to the project, including relocating the Train Operating Control Centre from the site. The Federal Government will pay $68 million for the proton therapy unit with the balance sourced from the private sector.

The building, owned by Commercial & General, aims to complement the striking facade of the SAHMRI flagship which draws inspiration from a pine cone. SAHMRI executive director Professor Steve Wesselingh said the Australian Bragg Centre would deliver the most technologically advanced, precision radiation therapy ever seen in the southern hemisphere and has the potential to be part of the cure for a significant number of cancers.

“Hundreds of patients a year in Australia would benefit significantly from proton therapy,” he said.

“This is a game-changer for patients and will put South Australia on the global stage for cancer treatment.”

Commercial & General chief executive Trevor Cooke said it was a prime example of business and the medical sector working together to provide government with the platform for a revolution in treatment of cancer patients.

“We’ve been able to ensure South Australia will be at the absolute forefront of cancer treatment, further underlining the State’s burgeoning reputation as a leader in health.”

Woods Bagot’s Thomas Masullo said SAHMRI was a catalyst in revitalising the inner city and the evolution of the biomedical precinct.

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/future-adelaide/first-images-video-of-the-300-million-sahmri-2-building-in-adelaides-health-and-biomedical-precinct/news-story/c38674b6147e5f653d4c9486ac061dba

Health: Game-changing research gives new hope to patients with cancer and other diseases

Health: Game-changing research gives new hope to patients with cancer and other diseases

Published by The Advertiser – November 2017

Story By: Katrina Stokes

 

BIG money, big science, big building — but for South Australians in dire need, the biggest deal coming to North Tce is a whiz-bang machine that can destroy inoperable cancers.

he southern hemisphere’s first Proton Therapy Unit will deliver intense radiation directly to tumours without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.

Powerful proton beams will target cancerous tissues within millimetres of vital organs without collateral damage, even when there is slight movement such as breathing.

At present, people needing such treatment have to go overseas at huge cost — federal subsidies are available and government sends a small number of patients to America, Japan or Europe for proton therapy every year.

However, for some people the choice to save a loved one’s life can mean mortgaging the home.

The Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research will be based in the $240 million SAHMRI 2 building, due to open in 2020.

It will stand next to the flagship South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) building in the multi-billion dollar SA Biomedical Research Precinct.

The Federal Government has committed $68 million to the project and the State Government $44 million.

The unit’s particle accelerator will occupy an underground concrete bunker and the 14-storey building will house some 400 researchers with space for industry partners.

The unit is expected to attract patients from across Australia, Asia and the Pacific, treating around 800 people a year, further cementing Adelaide’s reputation as a centre of medical excellence.

While there has been some controversy over the tender process and the project is behind schedule, officials are confident the proton beam therapy will dramatically improve cancer treatment and also be a valuable research tool.

Associate Professor Michael Penniment from the University of Adelaide’s Department of Radiation Oncology said the unit is a precise way of delivering radiation therapy.

“Proton therapy allows us to define where the beam stops in a patient and avoid critical tissues,” he said.

William Bragg and his son Lawrence working at Adelaide University in 1915 discovered the Bragg Peak, which is the fundamental principal of proton therapy and the reason why protons can miss important tissues.

“In Australia, around 600 to 800 patients a year would benefit significantly from proton therapy.

“Proton therapy units are expensive but, once purchased, the accelerator in Adelaide will have three rooms, treat over 1000 people per year and be fully operational for more than 20 years.”

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/smart-sa/proton-therapy-machine-that-can-destroy-inoperable-cancers-to-be-housed-in-sahmri-2/news-story/6e01277457194546c891761c0e916724