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.
11th April 2018: Proton Partners International announced today it has treated the first patient in the UK with high energy proton beam therapy.
20th March 2018: Proton Partners International has been granted formal technical and regulatory approval from Healthcare Inspectorate Wales to begin treating patients with proton beam therapy at its Rutherford Cancer Centre in Wales.
Proton Partners International announced today it has treated the first patient in the UK with high energy proton beam therapy.
The patient received treatment at Proton Partners’ Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport, South Wales.
The Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, is the first oncology clinic in the UK to provide high energy proton beam therapy treatment, which targets tumours more accurately and reduces side effects.
Proton Partners International is building a network of Rutherford Cancer Centres across the UK to be able to provide cancer patients with proton beam therapy treatment as well as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, imaging and wellbeing services.
Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical officer of Proton Partners International, said: “This is a landmark moment in UK cancer care and it is a significant step in transforming the way patients are treated.
“Proton beam therapy has been available abroad for many years, so it is hugely important that the UK is now able to offer this type of cancer care. There is a debate around how many patients are suitable for proton beam therapy. We do know that proton beam therapy is effective in the treatment of children as it reduces damage to surrounding healthy tissue, and it is also proven to work in tackling hard-to-reach tumours.”
There are more than 150,000 cancer patients in the UK every year who are treated with radiation therapy. Proton Partners International believes around 10% of patients treated with radical radiotherapy – the figure accepted at European level - could be better treated with proton therapy.
Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners International, said: “Today is an important day because from now patients no longer need to be sent abroad to receive proton beam therapy and we are delighted that Wales has shown the lead in helping make this advanced treatment available to patients.
“Until now, patients have to be sent to private clinics in the US or Switzerland to get this treatment at a cost of around £114,000.
“By making the treatment available in the UK, the cost is significantly reduced but so is the effect long-distance travelling can have on patients and their families.”
The Rutherford Cancer Centres treat health insurance and self-pay patients and is available to treat patients should they be referred by an NHS Trust.
Mr Moran said: “The NHS is building proton beam therapy centres in Manchester and London, but we believe the demand for this treatment will be extensive and it is important that patients are treated as close to home as possible. We look forward to having constructive discussions with the NHS now that treatment has started in the UK.”
Proton Partners is currently building Rutherford Cancer Centres in Northumberland, Reading and Liverpool and plans to build eight centres in the UK to provide a treatment centre within 90 minutes of a patient’s home.
The Rutherford Cancer Centres feature the most advanced technologies and Proton Partners International has formed a partnership with IBA (Ion Beam Applications), the world’s leading provider of proton therapy solutions and Philips, a leader in health technology.
Proton Partners International has also established a two-year collaborative research project with The University of Liverpool to develop a new measurement system to enhance proton beam therapy technology.
The company has also joined The College of Radiographers’ Industry Partnership Scheme (CoRIPS) to provide funding for future research and educational projects.