Northern Territory Minister for Health Natasha Fyles
Pet Scanner Project Steps Ahead
Victor P Taffa
Northern Territory Government is delivering high quality cancer treatment and diagnosis services with the final construction tender for the PET Scanner Project awarded.
Minister for Health Natasha Fyles today announced Sitzler had been awarded the $10.5 Million contract to expand treatment at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre and build the facility needed to produce isotopes needed for the PET service.
“Commonwealth and Territory government both promised Territorians at the last elections to improve cancer treatment and diagnosis in the Northern Territory and we are delivering.” Minister Fyles said.
Jointly funded $23 Million project includes $15 Million from the Federal Government’s Community Development Grants programme and $8 Million from the Territory Government to provide for:
- Expansions at RDH Medical Imaging to house a PET Scanner
- Expansions at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre (AWCCC) to accommodate an additional 12 chemotherapy chairs and associated services
- New purpose built Cyclotron and Radiopharmacy facility to be constructed as an extension of the AWCCC
- Purchase of a PET Scanner and associated equipment
- Purchase of the Cyclotron that makes the isotopes used in PET scans
Minister Fyles said the construction tender announced today provides for a 12 chair expansion at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre and a purpose built cyclotron and radiopharmacy facility.
“Work will start on the expansion of the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre in the coming weeks to accommodate for an extra 300 chemotherapy patients a year.”
“Work is expected to take up to 10 months and includes 12 new chemotherapy chairs, an expansion of the waiting area, a treatment room, new consulting rooms, a medication room and development of related support areas including storage and amenities.”
Minister Fyles said work is expected to start on the new cyclotron facility in August this year and will include the cyclotron bunker, radiopharmacy, quality control, storage and related staff facilities.
“Having a local cyclotron facility means we can access a diverse range of isotopes needed for PET scans and scale up the PET service for diagnosis and research over time.” Minister Fyles said.
“We will work hard to minimise the disruption to users of the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre while working to deliver this critical infrastructure.”
Minister Fyles said a separate construction tender for the PET scanner was released last year.
“Work is well underway to expand the medical imaging department at RDH with the foundation laid and roofing structures being erected.”
PET Service is expected to be operational late this year.
Positron-emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine functional imaging technique that is used to observe metabolic processes in the body as an aid to the diagnosis of disease.
System detects pairs of Gamma Rays emitted indirectly by a Positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule.
Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis. In modern PET-CT scanners, three-dimensional imaging is often accomplished with the aid of a CT X-ray scan performed on the patient during the same session, in the same machine.
RDH Royal Darwin Hospital
PET Positron Emission Tomography