University welcomes expanded support for proton beam therapy in Victoria
The University of Melbourne has welcomed yesterday’s Victorian Government announcement about expanded support for a National Proton Beam Therapy Centre.
The Centre is proposed to be based in Parkville, and be operated by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. It would leverage and complement the work of the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC).
The University is a partner in the VCCC, and the proposed centre would build on and benefit from the University’s strong research expertise in cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapeutic developments, as well as in fields associated with proton therapy such as physics and engineering.
Proton beam therapy is a cancer treatment that offers significant benefits to patients, particularly children, as it causes less side effects than other forms of radiation treatment and results in less damage to the healthy tissue surrounding a tumour.
There are presently no proton therapy facilities in Australia or South East Asia and approximately only 50 such treatment centres globally. A PBT facility developed in partnership with the University would establish Melbourne as a national centre for treatment, and an international hub for research in proton therapy.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis, said the announcement was an important next step towards bringing this cutting edge treatment to Victoria.
“We’re very pleased that the government has made such a positive commitment to establish this Centre in Victoria, one that will benefit Victorian cancer patients but also provide expanded opportunities for research into cancer therapies and the training of clinicians.
“The University has an established record for research excellence in cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapeutic development with significant focus through world-class researchers appointed to roles such as the Lorenzo Galli Chair in Melanoma and Skin Cancers, the Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine and the Chair in Cancer Nursing.”
“We look forward to working with our partners in the VCCC and others across the Melbourne biomedical precinct to help lead the way in developing advanced treatments to improve outcomes for cancer patients.