Date published: 
6 May 2017
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Turnbull Government will provide $68 million to support the establishment of Australia’s first Proton Beam Therapy facility at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide.

This major investment is a significant boost for Australian health and medical research, and for patients across the country who are set to benefit from this cutting-edge technology.

Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) is radiation therapy that uses heavier particles (protons) instead of x-rays, which are used in conventional radiotherapy.

It involves a particle accelerator targeting the tumour with a beam of protons.

PBT more accurately targets tumours located close to vital organs, tissues and bones. This can be particularly beneficial for patients suffering from cancer in the brain, vertebral column and bony pelvis, and for treating specific tumours in infants and young children.

PBT technology is not currently available in Australia for treatment and research. Currently, Australians travel overseas to access necessary PBT, with the financial assistance of the Australian Government.

This initiative gives patients access to the care they need right here in Australia.

And with growing international focus on proton beam technology, it’s vital that Australia remains at the cutting edge of medical research.

This new facility will help achieve this by giving Australian medical researchers access to this promising new technology.

Subject to funding of supporting infrastructure by the South Australian Government, the facility is expected to be operational by 2020.

I have asked the National Health and Medical Research Council to further investigate proton beam research capabilities and options for additional facilities in other states and territories.

The Turnbull Government is committed to supporting Australia’s world-leading medical researchers and scientists – and the 2017-18 Budget will deliver on this commitment.