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Mayo Clinic Florida

Exchange of expertise

A specialist in particle therapy treatment planning from the Mayo Clinic in the US, Professor Chris Beltran, recently visited ANSTO for an exchange for information.

A specialist in particle therapy treatment planning from the Mayo Clinic in the US, Professor Chris Beltran, recently visited ANSTO to meet with the ANSTO senior research management team and CEO Adi Paterson to discuss the Mayo Clinic’s progress on a new carbon therapy facility in the US and other matters.

Chris Beltran

The Mayo Clinic, who has an agreement to share information with ANSTO on matters relating to particle therapy, is building America’s first carbon ion therapy facility. 

The proposed carbon ion therapy facility will be the first for an English speaking country and the first-of-its-kind utilising new developments in cutting- edge technology to take the next leap forward in particle therapy treatment and research.

Dr Dale Prokopovich, who organised the visit of Prof Chris Beltran to ANSTO, said the Mayo Clinic was interested in working with ANSTO as part of a larger collaboration for training, research and education in particle therapy in preparation for an Australian carbon facility and another ion facility.

“Although some matters are subject to confidentiality agreements, we are, of course, interested in the technology behind this new facility,” said Prokopovich.

ANSTO in association with a number of organisations including Westmead Hospital is supporting the construction of a carbon ion therapy facility in Australia.

While in Australia to attend a conference organised by the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, the University of Wollongong, Prof Beltran also spent time at Westmead Hospital with clinicians and treatment planners to share expertise on comparative treatment planning for cancer patients.

At this time in Australia, there is a federal government Medical Treatment Overseas Program to send cancer patients overseas for particle therapy treatment, as it is not currently available here.

“The good news is that Australia is getting closer to having a set of indications to enable patients to meet the criteria for easier access to overseas particle therapy treatment. Access has been limited but as we approach the day of having the technology in Australia it is increasingly necessary to have all the required processes set up for the patients,” said Prokopovich.

Prof Beltran played a key role in the development of particle therapy treatment planning in the US.

There currently is a proposal to build a national carbon and other ion therapy facility at the Westmead Precinct in Western Sydney.

A proton therapy facility is currently under construction in South Australia led by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

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