11th December 2018: Proton Partners International announced today that the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales has been approved by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) to provide high energy proton beam therapy to adult patients referred from the NHS in Wales.
27th November 2018: A new report by the Health Foundation has rightly highlighted the urgent need for a revolution in cancer diagnosis in Britain, Proton Partners International said today.
13th November 2018: A court case in the United States which ended in a £20 million damages award for the family of a patient who died from cancer after being denied proton beam therapy (PBT) has highlighted the importance of recognising PBT as a well-established treatment.
8th November 2018: The demand for proton beam therapy for cancer patients has increased significantly this year as a result of the availability of the treatment in the UK.
18th October 2018 – Medical innovation in the UK was given a significant boost today with the announcement that an advanced diagnostics centre is to be built in Liverpool.
3rd October 2018: Cancer care in the South of England took a significant step forward today with the opening of the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley.
21st August 2018: A new chapter in the provision of advanced cancer care in the North-East of England has started with the official opening of the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East.
8th August 2018: The provision of advanced cancer treatment in the South of England passed a key milestone today with the arrival of the first high energy proton beam therapy system in the region.
7th August 2018: The first patient to be treated with high energy proton beam therapy for breast cancer in the UK commenced treatment this week at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales.
New report highlights need for radical overhaul of cancer diagnostics
A new report by the Health Foundation has rightly highlighted the urgent need for a revolution in cancer diagnosis in Britain, Proton Partners International said today.
The Health Foundation report found that 10,000 deaths could be prevented each year with better diagnosis. Despite enormous investment over the past three decades, Britain still lags behind all Western European countries in cancer survival statistics.
According to the report, at the heart of the problem is the ‘tight gate-keeping’ of the NHS, only GPs can refer patients for check-ups and are pressured not to refer too many, while the NHS does not have enough equipment or staff to carry out the checks that it should.
Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical director at Proton Partners International, a leading provider of cancer services in the UK including cancer diagnostics, called for a radical overhaul of the way cancer is diagnosed in Britain.
He said: “What we urgently need is for patients with certain symptoms to go straight to a non-hospital clinical environment where all relevant tests can be done at once and then referred to an appropriate specialist if necessary. That would be a real game changer in cancer diagnostics in the UK and more lives will be saved.
“The current system of incorporating diagnostic services within hospitals is simply not working. Patients are facing drastic delays in getting crucial imaging and biopsies.”
Steve Powell, chief diagnostic officer at Rutherford Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Proton Partners International that specialises in cancer diagnosis, said: “At present, patients are having to wait at least six weeks for their diagnosis, that is not acceptable. We should be aiming to reduce those weeks of waiting to days and ultimately be able to provide a 24-hour service.”
He said: “Adding diagnostic equipment to hospitals will not solve the problem, it will simply be engulfed by the demand and patients will face the same structural obstacles of ‘tight gate-keeping’ that this report highlights. Patients with the relevant symptoms should be able to get all their tests in a pleasant specialised diagnostic environment, and then forwarded to the relevant specialist if diagnosed with cancer.
“GPs need to be empowered to use CT, MRI and endoscopy services without having to make endless referrals. This will not only lead to quicker diagnoses but will prove hugely cost-efficient too.”