First proton beam therapy machine in the UK arrives tomorrow

The first cancer fighting proton beam therapy machine to be installed in the UK will arrive in Newport tomorrow (WalesOnline, 2017).

The ground breaking technology was previously only available overseas, but the arrival of the fifty five ton cyclotron accelerator Proteus ONE machine will complete the final phase of a cancer centre being built in Newport by Proton Partners International. The £17m machine will take a year to install at the Rutherford Cancer Centre.

The cyclotron accelerator, which is being installed and maintained by IBA (Ion Beam Applications), 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, resulting in less damage to surrounding healthy organs.First proton beam

Proton beam therapy is a type of radiotherapy used to treat cancer, however it is not currently available in the UK.

The cancer centre, located at Celtic Springs Business Park in Newport, will make this level of cancer treatment available to patients across Wales. Proton Partners International is building a series of oncology centres known as The Rutherford Cancer Centres, which will offer proton beam therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, imaging and wellbeing services. Other centres are being built in Northumberland, Reading and Liverpool.

Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners International, said “The arrival of the proton beam therapy machine at our first cancer centre is a very proud day for Proton Partners International. It is the most advanced piece of cancer machinery to be delivered in the UK. Following the successful delivery of the machine, the installation process will begin immediately and high energy proton beam therapy will be available to patients at our South Wales centre next year. This is a milestone for cancer treatment and will be an important day for healthcare in Wales and the rest of the UK.”

The Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport recently received patient referrals for conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and imaging.

The Welsh Government, through its Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund (WLSIF), has a £10m equity stake in Proton Partners International. The now fully invested fund is managed by Arthurian Life Sciences, chaired by life sciences serial investor and entrepreneur Sir Chris Evans.

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