Increased Safeguards for Radiotherapy Treatment
Australian cancer patients and others requiring radiotherapy will have increased safeguards to their treatment with the launch of the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service.
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4 February, 2011
Australian cancer patients and others requiring radiotherapy will have increased safeguards to their treatment with the launch of the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS) today – World Cancer Day.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Catherine King, launched the $2.875 million centre operated by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), at its Yallambie Melbourne premises.
ARPANSA will operate the ACDS for an initial period of three years, under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Health and Ageing.
“It is fitting that we are launching this service today on a day that we recognise the impact of cancer as a major health challenge across the globe,” Ms King said.
“Establishing an independent national dosimetry service places Australia at the forefront of risk mitigation and patient care, even among the most technically advanced countries in the world,” Ms King said.
“Only the UK, the US and some of the Scandinavian countries have developed programs which provide a level of clinical support similar to that which will be provided by the ACDS.
“The service will also help to maintain the quality of radiotherapy in Australia, and provide a national approach to radiation measurements, making radiotherapy more consistent across the country and safer for patients.”
The ACDS will be led by Dr Ivan Williams, a medical physicist who was recently the Acting Head of Physics at St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.
Radiotherapy, which involves the accurate and precise delivery of high doses of radiation to carefully-defined disease sites, is an essential part of cancer management.
Dosimetry is used to check that the dose of radiation delivered to the patient is accurate and appropriate. It ensures the risks of accidental over- or under-doses are minimised, leading to the best possible results from treatment.
Dosimetry is presently carried out by each treatment facility. However, verifying radiation dosages by an independent authority reduces the risk of error.
The new ACDS will provide an integrated national approach to promoting safety and quality in radiotherapy, which is expected to lead to further improvements in radiotherapy treatment outcomes.
For more information contact Ms King’s office (02) 6277 4230
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