Alfred Health Radiation Oncology is a major service with treatment facilities at The Alfred and Gippsland.
Radiation Oncology is the busiest cancer unit in Alfred Health, seeing almost 2,000 new cases each year.
The service engages in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in a number of cancer-related disciplines. A research program exists across the spectrum of Radiation Oncology related areas, from basic biology and physics, through to clinical trials and translation of research outcomes into clinical practice. During 2014, Radiation Oncology participated in 12 cooperative group clinical trials.
In 2014, research focused on image-guided and stereotactic (ST) external beam treatments and prostate brachytherapy (BT). In research translation efforts, verification of in vivo external beam dose and high-dose rate (HDR) BT are becoming embedded into our work as quality assurance processes.
External grant funding was obtained from sources including NHMRC, Victorian Cancer Agency and Cancer Council Victoria. We secured two grants through the Gippsland Regional Integrated Cancer Services (GRICS) to support assessing the feasibility of a prostate seed implant service and telemedicine through our Gippsland facility.
Radiation Oncology first in Australia efforts:
Exac Trac imaging software and robotic couch for precision robotic radiation for prostate cancer
AlignRT technology for deep-inspiration breathholding techniques to minimise cardiac radiation dose for breast cancer patients.
Also, as a first in Victoria and public hospitals in Australia, Dr Sabeena Beveridge led the start-up of real time in vivo silicon diode-based dose verification in EBRT.
Dr Kim Ung commenced as our ST Research Fellow supported by the Peter Grant Hay Trust
David Gration, Senior Radiation Therapist, won ‘Rural and Regional Educator Award’ and was short listed as a finalist for the ‘Rural and Regional Learner Award’ as part of the Victorian Government’s 2014 People in Health Awards initiative
Ryan Smith presented his PhD research ‘In vivo treatment verifications for HDR BT using a flat panel detector’ at the ‘Milestone in Physics Seminar’ at RMIT, which will become a standard verification system for HDR treatment in our department
Nicola Mein completed her Honours research, which compared dosimetry with RapidArc versus Brainlab’s HybridArc volumetric modulated arc therapy