1638 – Proton beam therapy for paediatric and rare cancers

Page last updated: 26 February 2021

Application Detail

Description of Medical Service

Proton beam therapy is a form of external beam radiotherapy. It consists of a high energy particle accelerator, beam transport lines, rotating gantry structures, robotic patient positioning systems, and X-ray image guidance systems. The particle accelerator technology produces protons of a specific energy to be delivered to a cancer site within the body. The rotating gantry allows the proton beam to be delivered at various angles around the body. X-ray image guidance ensures the proton radiation is delivered to the intended location in the body.

The proton radiation interacts with patient tissues to damage DNA, inducing cell death. This is the equivalent mechanism by which conventional radiotherapy with X-rays works. Proton radiation allows for a greater differential in the radiation dose delivered to the tumour relative to surrounding healthy tissue than conventional radiotherapy with X-rays.

Description of Medical Condition

The proposed service is relevant to adults and children diagnosed with the certain cancer types. These are typically cancers of the central nervous system and in proximity to the axial skeleton. Proton beam therapy is particularly advantageous for paediatric and Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) patient groups as it reduces the amount of radiation delivered to normal healthy tissue during the course of radiotherapy. This can have an impact on long term outcomes for these patients.

Proton beam therapy has also been utilized for certain rare adult cancer types such as chordoma, chondrosarcoma and adenocarcinoma of the salivary and lacrimal glands. For these radioresistant cancers, proton beam therapy can be utilized to increase radiation dose to the cancer while maintaining a lower or equivalent dose to surrounding normal tissues when compared to conventional radiotherapy. Potential dose reductions to surrounding tissues may also decrease the incidence of adverse events and the risk of complications.

Reason for Application

New MBS item

Medical Service Type


Other Relevant Applications


Associated Documentation

Application Form

Application Form (PDF 1230 KB)
Application Form (Word 123 KB)

Consultation Survey

Consultation Survey (PDF 558 KB)
Consultation Survey (Word 70 KB)

PICO Confirmation


Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Public Summary Document (PDF 796 KB)
Public Summary Document (Word 292 KB)

Meetings for this Application




8-9 October 2020


26-27 November 2020