The Victoria state Government in Australia has launched the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre, a new A$152m ($97.8m) facility at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Medical Research Ben Carroll opened the doors for the new centre.

The facility includes 25 clinic rooms and 49 chemotherapy treatment chairs, with a capacity allowing for almost 300 patients to receive treatment each day.

It is equipped with the latest scanning technology to enable the early detection of skin cancer, facilitating timely and lifesaving treatments.

With a A$12m investment from the Victoria Government and the Alfred Foundation, as well as matching funding made by the federal government, the Quadra Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Molecular Imaging scanner was deployed at the centre.

The PET/CT technology offers improved detection of smaller lesions and enhances patient and radiographer safety by using lower radiation doses for scans.

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This advancement is expected to reduce the number of follow-up scans required for cancer patients through its simultaneous whole-body scanning capability.

When fully operational in June next year, the centre will double its initial capacity, performing an additional 2,600 scans annually, totalling 5,000 scans.

The scanner will also support local experts in conducting clinical trials in the oncology field.

The Paula Fox centre will house the Victorian Melanoma Service at The Alfred, Alfred Cancer Services, and the Australian Clinical Trials Centre.

These services will be unified with Alfred Cancer to offer a seamless experience for patients.

The construction of the centre was supported by a A$50m investment from the Victoria Government, alongside contributions from the federal government, Monash University, Paula Fox and the Fox Family, the Minderoo Foundation, and other philanthropic donors.

Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan said: “This is a groundbreaking cancer centre in the heart of Melbourne, which places world-leading patient care at the heart of its services and will uncover new ways to treat and prevent melanoma in a growing number of Victorians.”

Medical Research Minister Ben Carroll said: “We’re backing Victoria’s medical researchers to continue leading the way, and this new centre will drive global melanoma research to deliver innovative local breakthroughs and improve the lives of Victorians.”