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First year progress:

As SGRT becomes a standard of care in radiation oncology, an investment was made in C-RAD’s Catalyst system to support students’ development and learning in radiation oncology.

The Global Centre for Research and Training in Radiation Oncology (GC-RTRO), supported by the University of Newcastle, Australia, commenced operations in early 2022 and rang the bell for the first time at their official opening on November 2, 2022. Deputy Chancellor Kevin Young welcomed the enthusiastic attendees and Associate Professor Yolanda Surjan, Director of Global Centre for Research and Training in Radiation Oncology, presented an overview of the Centre, explaining how it is the true definition of collaboration with support from leading global and national radiation oncology cancer care companies, philanthropic contributors and community advocacy groups.

First of its kind

GC-RTRO is the first of its kind to bring radiation oncology research and training activities together to support MedTech industry and clinician needs; and train the next generation of radiation therapists. With currently 147 students, six honors students, eight PhD candidates and their industry partners, GC-RTRO sees a bright future for advancing radiation therapy and the patient experience.

The facilities, which include an Elekta VersaHD linear accelerator with C-RAD’s cameras for surface guided radiation therapy (SGRT), provide a safe environment for students to gain clinical skills in an academic setting by undertaking hands-on training before entering the clinical world. With access to advanced radiation oncology equipment and software, students are trained in the leading Radiation Therapy planning techniques used in clinical settings, creating confident, life-ready graduates. As a result, 100% of the Centre’s graduates are employed within four months of graduation.


GC-RTRO Students in the Virtual Lab
The Catalyst system is a real-time tracking system, integrated with the facility’s treatment planning system and their Elekta linear accelerator. C-RAD’s SGRT was chosen as a critical technology in the fast progressing oncology space. 

SGRT in focus

As SGRT becomes the standard of care in radiation oncology, the Centre invested in C-RAD’s Catalyst system to fully train students on the latest SGRT techniques. SGRT will further support the students’ development and learning, as it’s believed from published studies and data, all linear accelerators will be equipped with SGRT in the future. C-RAD’s Catalyst is used clinically to monitor patient and tumor movement before and during radiation therapy treatment.

James Nguyen, C-RAD’s Director of Sales Asia Pacific, commented that, “This teaching facility is the first in the world to be equipped with advanced SGRT technology and C-RAD is proud to be part of this educational program supporting future clinicians to deliver the highest level of care to their patients.’’

GC-RTRO is supported by 10 industry partners

A conversation with the director of GC-RTRO

To learn more about the vision of the Centre, C-RAD spoke with Associate Professor Yolanda Surjan, Director of Global Centre for Research and Training in Radiation Oncology. Yolanda leads GC-RTRO, where collaborations with external industry partners, researchers and trainers will seek to deliver on the Centre’s vision: to be a world-leading Centre contributing to elevating the standard of cancer care globally through research, education and collaboration.

How did GC-RTRO choose partners to build the world-class research and training Centre?

Our partners all share our vision: to elevate the standard of cancer care globally through research, training and collaboration. Each partner is invested in supporting student education and advocates for radiation oncology.

What is your vision for training in 5-10 years, as the Centre grows?

The Global Centre welcomes international and domestic students. Our students come from the UAE, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and beyond. The vision for the Centre aligns with our purpose: to elevate the standard of cancer care. We are also heavily invested in aligning our operations with our sustainable development goals that include good health and wellbeing, quality education, and sustainable cities and communities.

Why did your team feel it was important to add SGRT techniques into training?

Being at the forefront of clinical practice is what sets our students apart, allowing them to enter the workforce feeling confident and ready. SGRT is a critical technology in the fast-progressing oncology space.

On the research side, do you see long-term published studies coming out of the Centre? 

Our Centre supports Honours students, Masters and PhD students. Our students engage in research that is translational and just-in-time. Each project results in publications to ensure the high-quality research is embedded into practice and/or informs future practice.


The program of research focuses on two distinct areas of study: 1) evaluation of teaching and learning practice of undergraduate health professionals, and 2) research in the area of radiation therapy clinical applications in the context of translational research with the aim of elevating the standard of cancer care through advocacy for patients and improved services.

What advice would you give to other universities that would like to set up a Centre like GC-RTRO in other countries? 

Creating a Global Centre in partnership with industry and community requires a shared vision and purpose.

Creating such an ecosystem is critical to ensure we are agile and current in the important education of our future workforce. We, the Global Centre, base our successes on the concept of the quadruple helix, we foster interactions between academia, government, community and industry for the purpose of innovating cancer care practices and advancing our communities.

Fast forward to 2023
We followed up with Leah Cramp, Radiation Therapy Lecturer and Manager—Outreach Programs for the GC-RTRO to see how the program was progressing after its first year.


In what ways have you seen SGRT technology enhance the training of the radiation therapy students in conjunction with traditional methods?

Providing the students with the state-of-the-art SGRT technology within the simulated RT bunker in conjunction with a real-life linear accelerator has allowed us, as educators within a technically advanced field, to demonstrate the implementation and workflow of such technology in real-time. This enhances the students’ ability to grasp the importance of quality assurance and accuracy in positioning. Gone are the days of brief explanations, coupled with low-grade videos and images backed by justifications of ‘in real life this is what would happen’ conversations.

Nothing beats giving students the ability to see, touch and feel the equipment firsthand. They can learn and develop their skills in the use of the technology within a safe, supervised environment. Through group learning and practice, students also have the ability to take the place of the patient, experiencing the importance of communication and efficiency in workflow.

This preparedness reduces students’ anxiety and nerves when having to use such technology on patients for the first time. They are confident, allowing them to assimilate into a clinical environment fully aware of the technology capabilities and workflow, ultimately letting them concentrate on other aspects of learning such as patient care and interactions.


How has the use of C-RAD technology contributed to their overall satisfaction and sense of preparedness among students, particularly the ones who are nearing graduation?

Students are introduced to the C-RAD technology from first year, building upon their use and practical skills through years 2-4. Skills explored in SGRT simulation and treatment during on-campus teaching within the GC-RTRO are strongly backed by their clinical placement participation. By graduation, students are acutely versed in C-RAD SGRT methods, strongly preparing them as work-ready graduates. Use of C-RAD systems in the GC-RTRO leaves students feeling confident and able to safely and efficiently utilize the technology during their clinical placement experiences. It contributes deeply to their sense of preparedness for their transition into the workplace.


Have there been any notable improvements in student learning outcomes or performance as a result of incorporating SGRT technology with C-RAD’s Catalyst system at GC-RTRO?

Since implementing practical SGRT education using the C-RAD Catalyst system during the students’ tutorial and laboratory teaching within the GCRTRO, notable improvements have been seen in student confidence and knowledge in the understanding and implementation of operation, workflow and impact of such technologies. Students are able to adapt to departmental SGRT system technology with ease. This has also reduced the clinician burden of teaching new techniques and equipment within busy clinical environments.

For more information about GC-RTRO, visit

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