World class scanner to diagnose and treat cancers earlier

Prime Minister

Patients at the new Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital will have access to cutting-edge scanning technology that will be able to detect cancers earlier.

The Albanese Government is investing $12 million through the 2024-25 Budget, to purchase and install a Quadra Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Molecular Imaging scanner. The Victorian Government and The Alfred Foundation will match this funding.

This scanner is better able to detect smaller lesions meaning cancers can be diagnosed sooner.

The funding was announced as the Prime Minister opened the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre with Premier Jacinta Allan. The Commonwealth Government previously contributed $50 million to the construction of the centre.

It will also increase the safety of patients and staff, by performing faster scans with a lower dose of radiation.

The scanner will support an additional 2,600 scans annually, more than doubling current capacity to 5,000 scans.

Demand for PET/CT scanning services continues to grow, and this scanner will help to meet this demand.

In addition to being used to diagnose and treat cancers, the scanner will support critical medical research.

The scanner will increase Australia’s capacity to run clinical trials in ‘theranostics’ which is an emerging field in oncology that integrates molecular imaging and therapy to provide personalised cancer treatment.

It’s believed this will be the only scanner of its kind in Australia that is used for research, and cancer treatment and diagnosis.

It is expected to be operational by June 2025.

It is estimated around 165,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in Australia and sadly more than 50,000 people will lose their lives to cancer.

Facilities such as these are essential to help save more of those lives.

The Commonwealth is investing more than $2.8 billion over the next four years to improve cancer outcomes, excluding the cost of Medicare services and pharmaceuticals.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Albanese

“We are pleased to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver better cancer care for Victorians.

“This scanner will mean Victorians have access to a cutting-edge scanner which will support cancer research, diagnosis and treatment.

“This scanner will reduce wait times for Victorians who need a PET/CT scan and double the number of scans performed in Australia each year.”

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“This scanner is faster, safer and can detect cancers earlier meaning many Victorians will receive an earlier diagnosis, which is so important in cancer care.

“Researchers will have the opportunity to use this scanner for clinical trials which could lead to potentially ground breaking discoveries.

“This investment is part of the government’s commitment to ensure Australians have access to affordable, world-class healthcare when and where they need it.”

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