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Australian-first treatment for silent killer: New hope for thousands of Australians living with inoperable pancreatic cancer

  • Highly targeted cancer therapy performed using NSW’s only MR Linac, located at GenesisCare, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney
  • New data shows that patients with pancreatic cancer treated with this therapy could double their chances of surviving at least two years post diagnosis1
  • GenesisCare Foundation to enable more public patients to access this new treatment


Sydney, AUSTRALIA – Queensland man, Erik Lai, Townsville, has become the first patient in Australia to access a promising new treatment option for inoperable pancreatic cancer, shown to dramatically improve patient outcomes and long-term survival.1

GenesisCare, in collaboration with St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and the GenesisCare Foundation, has today launched an Australian-first treatment program on the MR Linac for locally advanced inoperable or borderline operable pancreatic cancer patients.

The GenesisCare Foundation’s Compassionate Access Program will enable suitable public patients from across the country access to the innovative treatment at no out of pocket cost.

Combining an MRI imaging scanner with a linear accelerator, GenesisCare’s MR Linac at St Vincent’s allows radiation oncologists to visualise tumours and adapt treatment in real time, minimising exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Real-world data presented at the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO) meeting in Copenhagen in May highlighted the effectiveness of ablative MRI-guided radiation therapy in extending survival in inoperable pancreatic cancer. 1

Results showed that the median survival of patients in the study was 26 months, compared to the 12-15 months typically seen in patients receiving chemotherapy and standard radiation therapy. The non-invasive therapy had minimal severe treatment-related toxicity and local control of the tumour. Similar results have been reported by GenesisCare and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.2

GenesisCare Radiation Oncologist, Dr Jeremy De Leon, said: “Sadly, pancreatic cancer patients have some of the lowest five-year survival rates and limited treatment options available to them. The MR-linac technology is a game-changer for these patients, as it allows clinicians to visualise the tumour and target radiation precisely, while sparing healthy organs nearby.”

The MR Linac’s adaptive capabilities are particularly beneficial for patients with complex hard-to-treat cancers, who were previously considered unsuitable for radiation therapy, including pancreatic cancer patients.

Nathaniel Heiner, Spokesperson for the GenesisCare Foundation, said: “The GenesisCare Foundation Compassionate Access Program aims to provide patients who would otherwise have limited, or sadly, no other viable treatment options.

“The Foundation’s access program will also have a research component through the ADAPT-MRL registry2 which captures real-world data to measure and improve the quality of care and outcomes for these patients,” said Mr Heiner.

Survival rates for pancreatic cancer are among the lowest of all cancers. In 2013-2017, individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had a 12% chance (11% for males and 12% for females) of surviving for five years.3

Chief Executive Officer of PanKind Australia, Michelle Stewart, said: “The MR Linac treatment will bring new hope to many Australians diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year.

“We have so many patients contact us every week who have exhausted all treatment options and are completely at loss as to what to do next, so it’s truly fantastic to have this new treatment option available here in Australia,” said Ms Stewart.

Chief Executive Officer of St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, Adjunct Professor Anthony Schembri AM, said: “In recent years the St Vincent’s Campus has invested heavily in precision medicine to improve outcomes for our cancer patients. This partnership with GenesisCare to use real world data from our MR Linac for those with pancreatic cancer is the true epitome of what precision medicine can achieve.

“We are very grateful to GenesisCare and its Foundation for sharing our vision of providing innovative care to those most vulnerable,” said A/Prof Anthony Schembri AM.

For more information on this innovative new treatment, visit our website here.

If you are a patient and would like to speak to a member of our team, please email us at pancreaticprogram@genesiscare.com


  1. Chuong MD, Bryant J, Mittauer KE, Hall M, Kotecha R, Alvarez D, Romaguera T, Rubens M, Adamson S, Godley A, Mishra V, Luciani G, Gutierrez AN. Ablative 5-Fraction Stereotactic Magnetic Resonance-Guided Radiation Therapy With On-Table Adaptive Replanning and Elective Nodal Irradiation for Inoperable Pancreas Cancer. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2021 Mar-Apr;11(2):134-147. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2020.09.005. Epub 2020 Sep 16. Erratum in: Pract Radiat Oncol. 2021 May-Jun;11(3):e354. PMID: 32947042.
  2. Good, J et al. Feasibility and Safety of daily adapted MR-guided SABR for pancreatic cancer in the UK, ESTRO 2022, viewed May 2022
  3. De Leon, J et al. Transl.Radiant Oncol.,2021;Vol 31, p 64-70.
  4. Cancer Australia, Pancreatic cancer in Australia statistics, accessed May 2022, < https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/cancer-types/pancreatic-cancer/statistics>