UK’s First High Energy Proton Beam Therapy System Arrives in Wales

The first high energy proton beam therapy system to be installed in the UK has arrived at The Rutherford Cancer Centre, South Wales.

The installation of the 55-ton cyclotron Proteus®ONE solution began today and will complete the final phase of the cancer centre being built in Newport, Gwent by Proton Partners International.

The cyclotron, which is being installed and maintained by IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.), generates the protons used in proton beam therapy treatment.

The therapy uses a high-energy beam of protons rather than X-rays to deliver radiotherapy for patients, reducing the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.  

Professor Gordon McVie, chairman of Proton Partners International, said: “This is a milestone for cancer treatment in the UK. We are committed to transforming cancer care and that is why we are installing the most advanced proton therapy technology available.

 “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.”

Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners International, said: “We’re extremely proud to see the technical ‘heart’ of our first proton beam therapy centre being delivered today. 

“We are offering an all-encompassing cancer service, as every patient is different and requires a unique treatment plan. The centre recently opened to receive referrals for conventional treatments and following this morning’s successful arrival of the proton beam cyclotron, we will begin installation. Engineers from IBA and our physics team will work together to accept and commission the system for clinical use.” 

Olivier Legrain, Chief Executive Officer of IBA, said: “We are proud to have successfully delivered the cyclotron of the first proton beam therapy system in the UK and to start the installation process. The compact design of the cyclotron means that it consumes less energy than similar technologies on the market, which in turn minimises the impact on the environment and reduces treatment cost. We are committed to supporting Proton Partners International as they make proton beam therapy a treatment option for patients across the UK.”

Proton Partners International is building a number of oncology centres across the UK named The Rutherford Cancer Centres and will install the same proton beam therapy system at its other centres which are under development in Northumberland, Reading and Liverpool. Locations for a clinic in central London are also being considered.

A video of the delivery can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/jX6tlNd0AlU