SAHMRI. Inspired research, better health for all.
7 September, 2021

SA charity delivers huge funding boost for cancer treatment centre


The Hospital Research Foundation Group has pledged more than $2 million to support critical start-up operations for the new Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research – soon to be the first facility in the southern hemisphere to offer lifesaving proton treatment.

Key medical specialists will be recruited as part of a $1.4 million grant over three years, including a Clinical Project Manager, Medical Physicist, Radiation Therapist, Paediatric Medical Oncologist and part-time Radiation Oncologist for the SAHMRI-based facility.

“We’re truly thankful to The Hospital Research Foundation Group for its vision and foresight to support research and medical expertise that will make a profound impact on outcomes for cancer patients,” said Professor Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI’s Executive Director.

THRF Group has also committed a further $628,000 over two years to establish the Australian Proton Therapy Clinical Quality Registry. The registry will collect and record cancer treatment details and patient outcomes from across the country, providing further information on the types of cases that would benefit from Proton Beam Therapy (PBT).

“The National Proton Therapy Clinical Quality Registry is extremely important. Through the collection of data comparing the efficacy and side effects of proton therapy against traditional radiotherapy, we can hone our understanding of which cancer treatments can benefit most from this emerging technology,” Prof Wesselingh said.

The Bragg Centre’s revolutionary technology will be able to target and destroy cancer cells using radiation without damaging healthy tissues by delivering powerful proton beams to precisely where they’re needed. The unit will see around 800 patients treated every year.

Brain tumour survivor and nurse at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Kate Pagnozzi was in her early 20s when she had to travel overseas to receive treatment and said it was a frightening experience.

“Having Proton Therapy in Adelaide will be a game-changer. People will no longer have to pack their entire belongings and move halfway across the world to access this life-changing treatment,” Kate said.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group CEO Paul Flynn said the organisation was proud to support this world-leading and lifesaving treatment for young people impacted by cancer and their families.

“As the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research is going to transform the cancer treatment landscape. People will travel to Adelaide from all over Australia and beyond to receive this therapy,” Paul said.

“We’re thrilled to be involved with a medical facility that will save and improve lives. These grants have been made possible thanks to the generous support of our donors and ticket buyers in The Hospital Research Foundation Home Lottery.”

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The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.