Proton beam therapy approved by NHS Wales

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.

The Newport centre, which is operated by Proton Partners International, is the first centre in the UK to offer high energy proton beam therapy.

Lifescience Industry reports Professor Roger Taylor, Senior Clinical Advisor and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, said “As a clinician who sees the effects of cancer and its treatment every day, it is great to see some NHS patients will be able to benefit from more local treatment. Proton therapy is not a panacea for all types of cancer, however we have seen where it can be beneficial in areas such as brain tumours or cancers of the spine or head and neck, and working with the NHS means that adult patients in Wales will now have an option to be treated closer to home.”

Jamie Powell, Centre Manager at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, said “Providing access to the Rutherford Cancer Centres for NHS patients is something we have been working towards from day one in order to ensure that as many patients as possible throughout Wales can access this treatment closer to home. Increasingly proton therapy will support research opportunities and alliances with the life sciences sector in Wales and we look forward to welcoming our first NHS patients soon.”

The first non-NHS patient to receive high energy proton beam therapy in the UK was treated in April of this year at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales.

The Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley in Reading and the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East in Northumberland will open proton beam therapy suites next year, allowing for even greater access to this hugely in demand treatment. Each Rutherford Cancer Centre is equipped to treat up to five hundred patients per year.

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