Adelaide's Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy unveiled

Adelaide's Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy unveiled
Adelaide's Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy unveiled

On Adelaide's North Terrace, in what's dubbed the Adelaide BioMed City, a second building will join the original SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) which will house the southern hemisphere's first proton therapy unit.

To be named the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy (also known as SAHMRI 2), the proton therapy unit will be located in the basement of the 14 level Woods Bagot-designed building.

Funding for the new therapy unit and research building will come from the SA and Federal Governments as well as private sector sources.

According to developer Commercial & General, the "unique infrastructure represents South Australia’s highest priority project for health, research and education, providing a focal point for research of international calibre into the most serious chronic illnesses."

The SA Government will move Adelaide Metro's train operating and control centre which currently resides on the site before construction gets underway.  A planning application is currently on public exhibition.

The second SAHMRI building joins the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, The University of Adelaide's Health and Medical Sciences building and University of South Australia's Health Innovation building to form the Adelaide BioMed City cluster.

Adelaide's Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy unveiled
An overview of Adelaide BioMed City - image: Commercial & General

According to Proton Therapy Australia, Proton Therapy is one of the most technologically advanced treatments for cancer.

Protons are split off a hydrogen atom, accelerated to roughly two-thirds the speed of light; transported along an evacuated tube into one of a number of treatment rooms and delivered to the patient via gantries allowing 360 degree rotation around the patient, or via single beam lines.

When treating any cancer with radiation, the aim is to deliver maximum dose to cancer cells while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.

Conventional radiation therapy faces challenges from side effects because of a relatively high radiation entrance dose and the exit dose.

By contrast, Proton Therapy has a much lower entrance dose and no exit dose causing less damage to healthy tissue surrounding the tumour.

Proton Therapy Australia

The new building is set to include 31,000 sqm of space with the first three floors occupied by SAHMRI researchers.  The building will also have 20-25 clinical trial rooms and be able to deliver proton therapy to 800 patients a year.

SAHMRI 2 is expected to be complete by 2021.

Lead Image credit:

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.


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