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Particle Therapy in Australia: iacta alea est!

Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, August 2020

NB This article is © 2020 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. It has been generously made available for publication and download from this site free of charge until 8 January 2021. 

The Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABC) has begun site preparation work (thus iacta alea est, the die is cast). Located in the new South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute building, construction should be complete in 2023, with accelerator installation and commissioning over the subsequent 18 months. This editorial accompanies five manuscripts on particle therapy (PT) in this issue and records the journey to deliver PT to Australia thus far. We propose actions required to ensure optimum implementation and use of PT at the bi-national (Australian and New Zealand, ANZ) level, so patients have equitable access to evidence-based treatment from a skilled workforce to a world-class quality in a safe and effective way.

Australia’s involvement in the science underpinning PT (proton beam therapy (PBT), carbon and other ion therapy) can be traced back to William Henry Bragg’s 1904 research at the University of Adelaide.1 Working with radium isotopes, Bragg and assistant William Kleeman discovered what we now term the Bragg peak. Furthermore, the concept of a synchrotron... read more