LONDON: The first high energy proton beam therapy system to be installed in the UK has arrived at its new home in Newport. Proton beam therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses a high-energy beam of protons rather than X-rays – reducing the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.
The 55-ton machine is being set up in The Rutherford Cancer Centre, and will be available to patients next year. The Newport centre is one of several being built by Proton Partners International across the UK, which will offer proton beam therapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Professor Gordon McVie, chairman of Proton Partners International, said: “This is a milestone for cancer treatment in the UK. “Around 10% of cancer patients will benefit from proton beam therapy by having significantly less long-term side effects.
“The availability of this treatment in the UK will mean over time that patients will no longer have to endure travelling abroad for treatment, which is the case at present.”
Treatment at The Rutherford Cancer Centres will be available to medically insured private patients, self-paying patients and patients referred by the NHS. The Welsh Government, through its Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund (WLSIF), has a stake in Proton Partners International.