The first NHS Wales cancer patient to receive proton beam therapy in Wales has started treatment at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales in Newport.
The Newport centre is approved by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) to provide high energy proton beam therapy to adult patients referred from the NHS in south Wales.
Professor Roger Taylor, Senior Clinical Advisor and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, said: “The availability of proton beam therapy at a local clinic is an important step forward in cancer care in the UK and we are pleased to be able to provide treatment for this young man.
“Whilst proton therapy is not a panacea for all types of cancer, we have seen where it can be beneficial in treating a range of tumours. Working with the NHS in Wales means that adult patients 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 and we are pleased to announce this on World Cancer Day. Our centre and services in Newport are supported by NHS Wales clinical, hospital and research facilities and we look forward to continue to provide excellent care in a high-quality and technologically advanced environment.”
The Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales was the first clinic in the UK to provide high energy proton beam therapy and treated the first non-NHS patient with high energy proton beam therapy in the UK in April of last year.
The Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley in Reading and the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East in Northumberland will open proton beam therapy suites within a few months, allowing for even greater access to treatment. A centre in Liverpool, the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West, is currently under construction and will be completed later this year. Each Rutherford Cancer Centre is equipped to treat up to 500 patients per year.
Proton Partners International, the parent company of Rutherford Cancer Centres, was established on World Cancer Day four years ago.