What do I need to know about Rhenium-SCT® (skin cancer therapy)?1-5
Rhenium-SCT® (Skin Cancer Therapy) is a brachytherapy utilising the Beta emitter radioisotope Rhenium-188 for the treatment Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer.
Rhenium-SCT® is approved in Europe, South Africa and Australia for the treatment of basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin.
In general, Rhenium-SCT® can be applied to any location on the body. It can be applied to single and/or multiple lesions of almost any shape or size in just one session. It is also suitable for patients of any age as well as patients with previously treated or complicated lesions.
The Rhenium-SCT® is not recommended for minors or pregnant patients.
**Accurate dosing. Spares healthy tissue.
‡No reported pain
†A procedure is considered non-invasive when no break or cut in the skin is created.
*Complete tumour regression in 98.5% of lesions treated3
§No disfiguring scarring; Retained functionality in high-risk and difficult to treat areas.
Rhenium-SCT demonstration video
Fees and charges
SBG is a licenced provider of radioisotope therapy, and along with VMOs, provides dermal brachytherapy services for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers (NMSC). Fees charged by all VMOs are set independently and are generally below Australian Medical Association (AMA) rates. However, due to the technical and manufacturing expertise required to produce radioisotopes, the cost of treating a single small lesion in the vicinity of a critical structure, such as face, eyes, nose or ears, should be quoted at around $7,000 to $8,000 (AUD). The inclusion of this treatment as a rebateable item in Medicare and private health funds has not yet been finalised, and as such there is currently no rebate. This means that a single treatment will be of $7,000 to $8,000 (AUD).
SBG, as an accredited radioisotope facility, can provide services to the VMOs on a similar basis as a surgeon is provided services at a hospital grade facility.
I want to offer Rhenium-SCT® to my patients through the Sydney Brachytherapy Group, do I need a licence?No user licence or facility licence is needed as Sydney Brachytherapy Group is a licenced and accredited nuclear medicine medical facility with a Radiation Management Licence issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, Australia.
What patients are most likely to benefit from Rhenium-SCT®?In most cases, treatment with Rhenium-SCT® only requires one quick, personalised treatment. It is especially beneficial for older, infirm people with comorbidities and people with low pain thresholds and is particularly good for difficult locations where a conventional surgical approach or skin grafting would be problematic, such as noses or ears. Rhenium-SCT® should not be used on women of child-bearing age who are pregnant or planning to be pregnant. Patients must be over 18 for treatment.
What is a tertiary referral clinic?As a specialist skin cancer GP, dermatologist or oncologist you can treat your patient using Rhenium-SCT® at Sydney Brachytherapy Group with the medical assistance of our onsite nuclear technician. The follow-up treatment and ongoing care stays with the referring medical specialist.
How do I become an accredited Rhenium-SCT® provider?You will need to work with the OncoBeta team to organise your licence to become a Rhenium-SCT® provider so you can conduct the treatment as the treating physician and Visiting Medical Officer, but in the meantime, you can use SBG’s facility and onsite nuclear physician to perform Rhenium-SCT® under its licence and accreditation. SBG can film the treatment so as the treating physician/Visiting Medical Officer you can be present and view the treatment online and in real time.
How many treatments will I need?Only one treatment is needed in most cases, depending on the patient, with a low incidence of recurrence. Multiple non-melanoma skin cancers may be treated on the same day.
Is the treatment painful?The treatment is painless. Discomfort from the wound is the same as any superficial wound to the epidermis; patients may experience some redness, itching and bleeding during the healing period.
Can I go home straight after the treatment?Yes, you can go straight home and return to daily activities immediately after treatment.
How long does healing take?Healing progresses in stages, usually taking between 60 to 180 days. As the procedure is non-invasive it equates to shorter recovery time and a reduced risk of complications. The patient should return to the consulting physician for follow-up wound care of both the treated area and for ongoing care.
What do I need to bring on treatment day?We encourage you to wear your normal and most comfortable clothes and shoes on treatment day. The application takes around 20 minutes, and it is not messy. The full procedure takes around one to two hours.
Will I be radioactive and a danger to other people?No, the radioactivity in Rhenium-SCT® will not affect other people.
Who will perform the treatment?Sydney Brachytherapy Group Medical Director Dr Joseph Gracé or a specially trained and accredited nuclear medicine technician performs the treatment, under the guidance of your dermatologist or skin health specialist.