Work begins on UAE’s first proton beam therapy centre

Work has officially begun on the first proton beam therapy cancer treatment centre to be built in the United Arab Emirates.

The centre, which will be known as the Abu Dhabi Proton Centre (ADPC), will be part of the existing Gulf International Cancer Centre (GICC) in Abu Dhabi and will be situated on a site provided by SBK Holding LLC, the Holding Company of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, advisor to the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Proton beam therapy is a highly targeted type of radiotherapy which can treat hard to reach cancers, such as spinal tumours, with a lower risk of damaging the surrounding tissue and causing side effects.

Proton Partners International report Mike Moran, their CEO, said: “Today marks an important phase in our plans to revolutionize cancer treatment in the UAE and with works officially started, our vision will soon be a reality. There is a growing need for proton beam therapy treatment around the world, as it has been shown to deliver significant results for patients. Its effectiveness at lowering side effects compared to traditional radiation treatment, is transforming the lives of many thousands of cancer patients. Currently, there are no centres which offer proton beam therapy in the Middle East, so we are proud that Proton Partners will be the first to be bringing it to the UAE.”

Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical officer of Proton Partners International, said “Studies have shown that at least 10% of patients who receive traditional radiotherapy would be treated more effectively with protons. By offering a variety of cancer therapies, this centre will deliver a fully comprehensive level of cancer care, tailored to fit the different needs of each patient – something which is not available in the UAE at the moment.”

His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said “As today marks an important phase in our plans to revolutionize cancer treatment in the UAE and Middle East Region, we aim to provide a world-class medical treatment for all cancer patients. Driven by patient-friendly technology, high-quality medical facilities and proven results we give patients hope again. This will add to the numerous advantages the UAE has that makes it a prime destination for medical tourists.”

Meanwhile, Chronicle Live reports work is well under way on a new multi-million pound cancer treatment centre being built in Northumberland.

The structure of the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Bomarsund has now been built and contractors are busy working on its interior. Once open, it will treat up to five hundred patients a year. The centre will offer radiotherapy, chemotherapy and imaging from early next year, with proton beam therapy being available from 2019.

Mike Moran said “People in the North East deserve to have better cancer treatment. That is what it is really about and it is a world class cancer offering, which will give patients who require proton beam therapy a better quality of life. The alternative to using the centre would be travelling to Manchester and that would mean a poor patient experience for people in the North East when they have to travel out of the area. Our view is we are building a network of cancer centres around the country and together they will provide services in the heart of the communities.”

Cancer Research UK estimates that around one in 100 people with cancer would be suitable for the treatment.

Chris Land, centre manager at the Rutherford Cancer Centre, said “There are two children who are flying out of the North East to Jacksonville over Christmas. One of them is a little girl from Ashington, who is having her treatment funded by the NHS but her family is having to raise £50,000 for the journey. When your child has cancer and you’ve got to deal with all the extra stress around it, the centre will take that totally out of the equation.”

The Bomarsund centre will be one of four built by Proton Partners International across the UK, with the others in Newport, Liverpool and Reading. Treatment at all four facilities will be available to medically insured private patients, self-paying patients and patients referred by the NHS.

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