The centre began treating its first patient in December last year, but NHS England is using the case of 15-year-old astrocytoma patient Mason Kettley to highlight the new technology. Proton Beam Therapy offers a means to target tumours with high precision, and reduced off-target effects on surrounding healthy tissue, making it ideal for children whose long term development may be impacted by highly toxic chemo- or radiotherapy.
The investment was funded by NHS England, with plans to open a second centre in London in 2020. At present, patients must travel abroad for the treatment, which NHS England will fund, with around 1,000 people treated this way since 2008.
“This is a hugely exciting development for the NHS and we are delighted that we are able to provide this life changing treatment for patients…the Long Term Plan for the NHS last week set out a range of plans that will radically transform cancer care across the country, benefitting hundreds of thousands of patients in the next five years.”
– Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director for NHS England