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22nd February 2024

Statement addressing proton therapy supply concerns

Bragg Comprehensive Cancer Centre

The Hospital Research Foundation Group has been proudly supporting the establishment of the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR), managed by SAHMRI, during its pre-planning and startup phase.

ABCPTR have kept us apprised of the supply problems that have been experienced by ProTom International – the supplier of infrastructure for the proton beam equipment.

Like any major infrastructure project, occasional delays are sometimes experienced, and we encourage all parties to continue to pursue this life-changing service for all Australians.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group has been a crucial contributor to the startup costs of the ABCPTR, committing $3.56 million, of which $1.95 million has so far been expended. This work needs to be continued whilst the delays in construction are overcome.

Of note, our funding is supporting ABCPTR clinical services already benefiting Australian families, including:

  • the ‘comparative planning’ service that our SA-based clinicians already provide nationally to cancer patients recommended for proton therapy; and
  • setting up the ‘Clinical Quality Registries’ needed to manage and monitor patients, their treatment, assess their care and follow up needs.

Our funding has also supported critical pre-planning for the ABCPTR, including the employment of and specialised training required by the radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, data managers and more, to see proton therapy succeed in Australia.

In a recent briefing with SAHMRI and ABCPTR, we have been assured all entities involved in this project (SAHMRI, ABCPTR, State and Federal Governments) are committed to identifying a suitable way forward to delivering proton therapy in South Australia for the benefit of all Australians.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group does not intend to waver from our support, with our focus being on ensuring Australian families have access to proton therapy, in the well-progressed facility on North Tce, to avoid the need for families to travel overseas for this lifesaving treatment.

You, our donors and supporters, can be assured that our funding is being used prudently, for the immediate benefit of Australian families needing proton therapy.

We have committed to continue this support while waiting for the outcome of the review being undertaken by SAHMRI, ABCPTR and State and Federal Governments over the next period.

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