Today, Mr. Samuel Shyllon, one of our Masters students is going to introduce his research project. Samuel is working under Professor Martin Ebert‘s supervision.

“Hello, my name is Samuel Shyllon and I am a UWA Medical Physics student that is currently working on a project that involves comparing CyberKnife and proton therapy for the treatment of liver cancers. Both CyberKnife and proton therapy aim to deliver precise treatment to small tumours, for specific cancer types, while minimising side-effects in the surrounding healthy tissue. However they do this using different principles.

Samuel at work evaluating computerised treatment plans.

Samuel at work evaluating
computerised treatment plans.


CyberKnife uses a small linear accelerator attached to an industrial robot and can track the motion of the tumour due to breathing and other patient motions during treatment with high-energy X-rays. Proton therapy uses protons, which have the characteristics of stopping at fixed distances within the tissue and releasing most of their energy in the last few millimetres as they come to a halt, without the ability to track the motion.
These two treatment modalities represent the latest technological advancement in radiotherapy treatment. Therefore, the project aims to create a protocol for the treatment planning comparison of CyberKnife and proton therapy which can become part of a Clinical Decision Support System. This will allow clinicians to efficiently decide which modality is superior so that patients can be offered the best treatment option to suit their situation.
Currently, proton therapy is not available in Australia, with the first centre likely to open in Adelaide around 2021. This project is aimed at developing the processes for deciding who should be referred for treatment there and who would be more suited to treatment locally using CyberKnife.
This is a project that promises to have a positive impact on patient outcomes and I am privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of it, working alongside the very helpful staff at SCGH. Also, being able to work in a clinical environment has been very impactful in my development as a Medical Physicist and I am gladly looking forward to the rest of my time here at SCGH.”

We wish Samuel best of luck in his interesting project.



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