Research Impact

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Radiation detectors go global

Strong partnerships continue to grow with leading international radiation oncology departments benefitting cancer patients worldwide

At the forefront of the development of a suite of innovative radiation detectors for the treatment of cancer is the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP) at UOW and its numerous research and clinical partners within Australia and overseas.

Many of the detectors are already being applied to benefit cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment, and the dedicated research of the CMRP, under the leadership of Distinguished Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld, continues to improve treatment technologies.

An outstanding example is the MOSkin dosimeter (radiation dose monitor), used in prostate cancer treatment, as well as for vaginal and cervical tumours, which confirms doses of radiation are tailored in real time to the best levels and avoid damaging surrounding critical organs, such as the rectal wall.

MOSkin has been applied to brachytherapy treatment of prostate and gynaecological cancer at the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (INT) in Milan, Italy: an outcome which is the result of a long-standing, close collaboration between the CMRP and Professor Mauro Carrara of the INT.

A leading European Comprehensive Cancer Centre of excellence, the INT implements multiple types of cutting-edge treatment procedures. It is one of few centres in Italy implementing brachytherapy – where a tiny source of radiation is implanted inside or next to the area of treatment.

As well as the clinical outcomes that radiotherapy technologies developed by the CMRP are having for INT prostate cancer patients, the partnership is helping to nurture close connections between researchers and clinicians.

For example, CMRP PhD student Anna Romanyukha undertook a six month-long clinical attachment at INT to translate the MOSkin technology for the benefit of gynaecological cancer patients.

Her results, obtained in collaboration with Italian medical physicist Dr Chiara Tenconi, led to the research project ‘In-Vivo Wall Dosimetry in Gynaecological HDR Brachytherapy Using a Semi-Flexible Rectal Probe Provided with MOSkin Dosimeters’, being recognised for its excellence with an award at the 2016 World Congress of Brachytherapy.

Now, as at INT, the CMRP has introduced MOSkin dosimetry into clinical practice at St George Cancer Care Centre, Sydney, in collaboration with radiation oncologist Dr Joseph Bucci, for the benefit of Australian prostate and gynaecological cancer patients.

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Partner organisations

National Cancer Institute, Italy
St George Cancer Care Centre, Sydney

UOW participants

D/Prof. Anatoly Rozenfeld, A/Prof. Michael Lerch, Dr Dean Cutajar, Dr Marco Petasecca, Prof. Peter Metcalfe, Dr Alex Pogossov, Ms Anna Romanyukha, Mrs Holly Zhu