First high-energy proton beam in UK is switched on

Milestone as technology 'fired' during testing at new Rutherford Cancer Centre in South Wales

The availability of proton beam therapy will help to revolutionise the treatment of cancer in the UK

Proton Partners International has successfully fired the first high-energy proton beam in the UK during testing at The Rutherford Cancer Centre in South Wales.

The tests were completed this week at the company’s first cancer centre and will continue in the following weeks in preparation for the ProteusONE system - the first high-energy proton beam therapy solution to be delivered in the UK - becoming fully operational.

The ProteusONE system is being installed and maintained by Ion Beam Applications SA (IBA) and it is anticipated that the first patients will be treated early in 2018.

We believe around 10% of all cancer patients could benefit from a very-precise form of treatment. Furthermore, it will mean that patients who need this type of treatment will not have to travel abroad in future to receive it

Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners International, said: “This is an important milestone in the development of proton beam therapy in the UK.

“We’re two months ahead of schedule and for the first time in this country we are beginning to see the reality of high-energy proton beam therapy taking shape.“

“We’re delighted that the most important day of all, when we are able to treat patients with high-energy proton beam therapy, is coming into view.”

Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical officer of Proton Partners International, added: “The availability of proton beam therapy treatment in the UK will have a significant impact on cancer treatment.

The machine was switched on last week as part of tests

“We believe around 10% of all cancer patients could benefit from a very-precise form of treatment. Furthermore, it will mean that patients who need this type of treatment will not have to travel abroad in future to receive it."

The Rutherford Cancer Centres will be able to provide conventional and proton beam therapy treatment to self-paying patients and patients referred by the NHS.

The single room ProteusONE system, equipped with Philips Ambient Experience, allows for advanced imaging techniques to be carried out.

Tumours are targeted with Cone Beam CT, a volumetric visualisation of the tumour and the body.

The system has been designed to optimise the patient experience by providing a comfortable and calming environment.

To meet growing demand, Proton Partners International is building a series of oncology centres across the UK, which will offer an all-encompassing cancer service, including high-energy proton beam therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, imaging and wellbeing services.

Each centre will install the same proton beam therapy system and are currently under development in Northumberland, Reading and Liverpool. Locations for a clinic in central London are also being considered.

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