PERTH, Australia – Plans for a new cancer facility at St John of God Murdoch Hospital have been announced to enhance patient access to comprehensive cancer care in Perth’s southern suburbs.
A $17 million agreement between St John of God Murdoch Hospital and GenesisCare, Australia’s leading provider of cancer services, will see Heathley, a specialist healthcare real estate manager, fund the development of the first private radiation oncology facility in the southern metropolitan area by mid-2021.
The facility will also offer ground-breaking theranostics and nuclear medicine services, with an initial focus on providing new hope for men with late stage prostate cancer and patients with neuroendocrine tumours.
St John of God Murdoch Hospital, the largest private provider of oncology services in the south metropolitan region of Perth, and GenesisCare recognised a gap in the delivery of cancer services in the local area and have pursued this opportunity to better cater to patients’ full treatment needs. The centre will have capacity to treat up to 1000 cancer patients a year.
St John of God Murdoch Hospital Medical Oncologist and Head of Department for Oncology, Haematology and Palliative Care, Associate Professor Kynan Feeney, said patient care would be enhanced with the completion of the radiation oncology bunker.
“Along with the oncology services already provided in our Cancer Centre, access to radiation therapy and theranostics services will create integrated care in the one location,” he said.
“For those who are too unwell to travel, including the many patients who receive palliative care at the St John of God Murdoch Community Hospice, it will mean being able to benefit from services easily accessible onsite at Murdoch.
“Our medical oncologists and staff, who already work closely with GenesisCare’s radiation oncologists, will work even more collaboratively to ensure patients receive comprehensive, integrated and coordinated care.”
All patients, private or public, will be able to access the service with the cost of treatment largely covered by Medicare rebates.
GenesisCare’s General Manager of Oncology in WA, Michael Davis, said: “We are proud to be collaborating with St John of God Murdoch on this exciting project to establish the first private, integrated, hospital-based radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and theranostics facility south of the river, to give patients greater choice.
“The partnership aims to provide rapid access to the latest treatment technology, techniques and clinical research, including access to innovative theranostic treatments.”
Heathley Managing Director, Andrew Hemming, said “We are excited to be partnering with St John of God Murdoch and GenesisCare to fund and deliver a state-of-the-art radiation oncology facility.”
St John of God Murdoch Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Ben Edwards, said this integrated facility will be a very important new service.
“The new radiation oncology service on site will create a real hub in Murdoch for comprehensive cancer treatment, and further cements us the leading private healthcare provider south of Perth,” he said.
“We are pleased that we will be able to alleviate some of the demand for radiation therapy in the area, which benefits everyone needing to access these services.”
An extensive range of the latest techniques in radiation therapy will be available, including volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
Theranostics, an innovative way of delivering targeted radiation to cancer cells, will also be available as part of the new comprehensive cancer service. This personalised approach to cancer therapy will be offered to suitable patients and will include lutetium-based therapies for prostate neuroendocrine tumours. In addition to treatment services, GenesisCare will build on a local track record of innovation in theranostics by establishing a clinical research facility aimed at bringing new therapies to market.
Preliminary works are set to begin in coming weeks, with services due to open by mid-2021.