An international approach to estimating the indications and number of eligible patients for carbon ion radiation therapy (CIRT) in Australia

Verity Ahern, Sebastian Adeberg, Piero Fossati, Richard Garrett, Bradford Hoppe, Anita Mahajan, Ester Orlandi, Roberto Orecchia, Dale Prokopovich, Jan Seuntjens, David Thwaites, Daniel Trifiletti, Richard Tsang, Hiroshi Tsuji

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To establish the treatment indications and potential patient numbers for carbon ion radiation therapy (CIRT) at the proposed national carbon ion (and proton) therapy facility in the Westmead precinct, New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

METHODS: An expert panel was convened, including representatives of four operational and two proposed international carbon ion facilities, as well as NSW-based CIRT stakeholders. They met virtually to consider CIRT available evidence and experience. Information regarding Japanese CIRT was provided pre- and post- the virtual meeting. Published information for South Korea was included in discussions.

RESULTS: There was jurisdictional variation in the tumours treated by CIRT due to differing incidences of some tumours, referral patterns, differences in decisions regarding which tumours to prioritise, CIRT resources available and funding arrangements. The greatest level of consensus was reached that CIRT in Australia can be justified currently for patients with adenoid cystic carcinomas and mucosal melanomas of the head and neck, hepatocellular cancer and liver metastases, base of skull meningiomas, chordomas and chondrosarcomas. Almost 1,400 Australian patients annually meet the consensus-derived indications now.

CONCLUSION: A conservative estimate is that 1% of cancer patients in Australia (or 2% of patients recommended for radiation therapy) may preferentially benefit from CIRT for initial therapy of radiation resistant tumours, or to boost persistently active disease after other therapies, or for re-irradiation of recurrent disease. On this basis, one national carbon ion facility with up to four treatment rooms is justified for Australian patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109816
Pages (from-to)109816
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Early online date20 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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