Work starts on UK’s first proton beam therapy centre

Construction starts on new cancer treatment centre in Newport

Work has officially started on the site of the UK’s-first proton beam therapy cancer treatment centre.

By bringing proton beam therapy to the UK, patients like me will no longer have to travel abroad to receive this life-saving treatment - it’s a moment that can’t come soon enough

Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport for the Welsh Government, visited the site to mark the beginning of the construction of the centre, which is expected to be operational by 2017.

It will be situated at the Celtic Springs Business Park in Newport as part of a scheme led by Proton Partners International, which also plans to build centres in Northumberland and London. Each centre will be able to treat up to 700 patients a year.

Hart said: “This is certainly an important milestone in what is a significant investment by Proton Partners to transform cancer care in the UK.

“From an economic perspective it will raise the profile of Wales as a world-class centre for life sciences, place Wales firmly at the forefront of innovative developments within the sector, and create long-term economic benefits.”

Mike Moran, chief executive of Proton Partners International, added: “Today marks an important step in our plans to improve cancer care in the UK and I am proud that Wales is leading the way.

“Our centres will offer proton beam therapy, imaging, radiotherapy and chemotherapy – delivering a fully-comprehensive level of cancer care tailored to fit the different needs of each patient.

“Later this year in our Newport centre we will be able to start treating patients with traditional radiotherapy, and proton beam therapy will be available in 2017.

Our overall aim is not just to provide cutting-edge treatment, but we also hope to herald a new era of cancer provision and drive improvements in cancer care in the UK

“Our overall aim is not just to provide cutting-edge treatment, but we also hope to herald a new era of cancer provision and drive improvements in cancer care in the UK.”

And Lloyd R Evans, a survivor of proton beam therapy, said: “For me, proton beam therapy has been a complete success. Due to the nature of my tumour, which was located at the base of my skull, traditional radiotherapy was only able to slow down its growth, whereas proton beam therapy was able to get rid of it completely. By bringing proton beam therapy to the UK, patients like me will no longer have to travel abroad to receive this life-saving treatment - it’s a moment that can’t come soon enough.”

Across the world proton beam therapy has been shown to deliver significant results for patients, especially in lowering side effects. There are currently no operational proton beam therapy facilities in the UK and the demand for more-specialised cancer care is growing.

Proton Partners is at the forefront of bringing proton beam therapy to the UK and isworking with class-leading providers who will equip the new centres to the highest specifications.

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