According to NSW Cancer Registry Statistical Reporting, one per cent of the population each year is diagnosed with cancer.
Around one-third of Australians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime and of these, about two thirds are over the age of 65. More than 50 per cent of all patients with localised malignant tumours are being treated with radiation.
UOW researchers at the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP) are at the forefront of the development of a suite of innovative radiation detectors for quality assurance in radiation therapy which are already benefitting cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment.
Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld with his CMRP team are also leading the development of instruments for ionizing radiation hazard monitoring that provide protection for those professionally associated with radiation exposure, such as pilots, radiologists, frequent flyers and scientists.
Invented and implemented in clinical and research practice over the past 20 years, the radiation detectors and medical devices for measurement of the radiation dose received by the human body (dosimetry) developed at CMRP include MOSkin, Dose Magnifying Glass, Magic Plate, BrachyView, Single Strip Detectors, Dual Scintillator and Detector, PET imaging detection modules and the landmark solid state Microdosimeter, which measures radiation effects at a cellular level.
Six patents have been granted for the detector system over the last five years in the USA, Canada, China and Europe. They are clinically implemented at radiation oncology departments in Australia, USA, Europe and Asia.
As a testament to the quality of R&D undertaken at the CMRP, the team continues to secure national and international funding to advance their research and develop and commercialise the medical devices. As well, they maintain strong partnerships and collaborations with leading international radiation oncology and space institutions, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (USA), Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School (USA), the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (USA), the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (USA), the National Institute of Radiological Science (Japan), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (France) and CERN (Switzerland).
The social and economic impacts of the technologies are far-reaching. They give unrivalled confidence in accuracy of dose delivery in radiation therapy, increasing the number of patients that can be treated and therefore reducing waiting lists.
They have also improved clinical outcomes of radiation therapy through accurate radiation dose delivery to cancer patients, which reduces side effects, patient longevity and quality of life.