Japan has been using the techniques since 1994 and is considered a world leader in the field.
Australia now has an exciting commitment from the federal and South Australian government for a proton therapy facility in Adelaide-a critical first step towards providing this important treatment modality for Australians.
ANSTO is facilitating a national discussion on Australia's approach to particle therapy that also encompasses the emerging carbon ion- based techniques.
Many advanced nations (including Japan, Germany, Italy and Austria) also have carbon-ion particle therapy and international experience demonstrates that this can be both a cost effective and biologically effective shorter course of treatment for otherwise untreatable forms of cancer.
AINSE Managing Director, Michelle Durant, who speaks Japanese, and ANSTO physicist Dr Dale Prokopovich conducted the tour. Delegates from the medical and university sectors took part to gain first- hand knowledge of how Japanese researchers developed particle therapy from early experimental stages through to patient treatment in a hospital setting.