Queensland Cancer Centre to offer state-of-the-art treatment

Published Tuesday, 05 December, 2023 at 10:04 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • The new $1.125 billion Queensland Cancer Centre to be built in Brisbane, will feature the latest technology and cancer treatment techniques.
  • Lendlease nominated as the preferred contractor to progress the design.
  • The Centre will be one of only two in Australia to offer proton beam therapy, a specialised form of radiation therapy.
  • 150 beds will be delivered to care for Queenslanders with cancer.
  • The Federal Government will provide $375 million on top of the Palaszczuk Government’s $750 million investment through the Health Big Build.

The Palaszczuk Government has announced Lendlease as the preferred contractor to lead the design phase of a cutting-edge cancer centre in Brisbane.

The Centre will be located within the Herston Health Precinct and will build on the existing ecosystem of research institutions and growing statewide cancer services. Works are expected to begin in the first half of 2024.

It will be staffed by a team of medical and surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, and allied health professionals.

The Centre will be one of only two facilities in Australia to offer proton beam therapy, a specialised form of radiation therapy that can more precisely target cancers near vital and vulnerable organs. 

Proton beam therapy is especially beneficial for children undergoing cancer treatment.

More than 30,000 Queenslanders are diagnosed with cancer each year, including more than 300 children and young people. 

When completed in 2028, the 150-bed facility will unlock a range of new and innovative cancer treatments for Queenslanders, including cellular therapy, nuclear theranostic, and a new statewide proton beam therapy service.

It will complement and enhance the broader network of existing public cancer services across Queensland, providing top-class care to patients no matter where they are in the State. 

The Centre will also collaborate with cancer networks across Australia and conduct research on new and innovative diagnosis and treatment options, attracting top cancer researchers from around the world. 

The Palaszczuk Government is investing $750 million to build and operate the Queensland Cancer Centre as part of its record $9.8 billion infrastructure program to deliver new and upgraded hospitals and health facilities statewide.

The Albanese Government is contributing a further $375 million in support of the facility.

The Centre is also attracting significant philanthropic interest, which will enable even more investment in equipment and research.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman:

"Today’s announcement of the Queensland Cancer Centre is a landmark moment for cancer care in our state.

“We know that cancer rates are increasing, with a 2.6% growth in cases each year, and is why this investment has never been more important.

“This new facility will include 150 beds and provide patients and their families access to state-of-the-art care, specialist treatments, and cutting-edge therapies, regardless of their location.

“The new centre will be one of only two facilities in the country to offer proton beam therapy, which can more precisely target cancers near vital and vulnerable organs.

“I am pleased the Albanese Government has agreed to contribute $375 million in funding to this project, ensuring it will be one of the most significant treatment and research facilities in the country.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering cutting-edge cancer treatment for Queenslanders.

Quotes attributable to Member for McConnell, Grace Grace:

“The Queensland Cancer Centre will provide truly world-class treatment for cancer patients from 2028, using the best available technologies.

“For our cancer specialists to have access to proton beam technology will greatly enhance the treatments they can provide to patients.

“I’m very proud that this world class medical technology will be used in the heart of McConnel at this vital new cancer treatment facility when it opens in 2028.”

Quotes attributable to AMA Queensland President, Dr Maria Boulton:

The Queensland Cancer Centre offering proton beam therapy is great news for Queenslanders as it will increase cancer treatment options available in our State.

This emerging new therapy is used to treat specific rare cancers, particularly brain cancers in children. Babies, kids, teenagers and young adults make up two-thirds of cancer patients who could benefit from proton beam therapy.

Currently, families have to make the difficult decision about whether they can afford to travel overseas for treatment for their child.

AMA Queensland has been calling for this treatment to be made available in our state as quickly as possible. It will save lives, minimise trauma and help in the recovery time for cancer patients and their families.

Quotes attributable to Queensland Cancer Clinical Network Co-Chairs, Associate Professor Melissa Eastgate and Aniko Cooper:

“The announcement of funding for the development of a Queensland Cancer Centre will significantly enhance the network of cancer care services across Queensland.

“The planned creation of the Queensland Cancer Centre will allow establishment of new and innovative cancer treatments, clinical education and research opportunities to be available to Queenslanders, both now and into the future.

“The inclusion of proton therapy will enable Queensland patients to access appropriate innovative research or treatment as appropriate.”

Quotes attributable to Metro North Health Associate Professor Dr Glen Kennedy:

We know that radiation therapy is the primary method of cancer treatment used, utilised in approximately 50 per cent of all cancer patients, but there is room for improvement to reduce the impact radiation can have on surrounding normal tissues which is a side effect of current therapy.

“Proton beam therapy, however, provides opportunity for radiation dose distribution in patients who may have cancer in an area that is hard to treat or in children, allowing for targeted treatment with reduced impact.

“The addition of proton beam treatment to the Queensland Cancer Centre will allow for even greater research and treatment opportunities for patients all across the State.”

Quotes attributable to Dr Steven McTaggart, Executive Director Medical Services, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service:

“Children’s Health Queensland supports the development of a Queensland Cancer Centre and is confident it will provide all Queenslanders, including children and young people, with access to innovative cancer treatments and research opportunities, both now and into the future.”

“In comparison to photon-based radiation, proton therapy offers the potential for substantial improvements in the radiation dose distribution to both tumours and surrounding normal tissues.

“In children, the lower normal tissue dose exposure appears particularly beneficial in reducing the longer-term impacts of radiotherapy on normal growing tissues, and in particular on vulnerable organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and gonads while maintaining or improving excellent clinical outcomes with radiation therapy.”


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