UCLH partners with US company to grow proton beam therapy services 

21/04/2017 00:00 
UCLH is partnering with Proton International to extend access to proton therapy to private patients.

From 2020, proton beam therapy will be delivered at UCLH’s new cancer and surgery centre in London. The private service will complement the service offered to NHS patients, and generate funding to reinvest in the NHS.

Proton beam therapy (PBT) is a highly precise and effective form of radiotherapy. It targets tumours with less risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue than conventional radiotherapy, making it particularly effective for some rare childhood cancers and complex tumours, for example, those affecting the base of the skull or the spine.

Currently, the NHS funds UK patients who would benefit from this treatment to access it overseas. A NHS high energy proton beam therapy service is being developed, with the first centre opening in 2018, at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, followed by the UCLH centre, opening in 2020. The UCLH centre will be in a state-of-the-art building with four floors below ground and five floors above ground.  Once the UCLH NHS service is up and running, the additional capacity provided through this partnership will mean private patients will also be able to access proton beam therapy treatment.

 UCLH’s partnership with Proton International enables the development of a private PBT service within the facility, at no additional cost to the tax payer.  Proton International’s extensive experience in delivering PBT, coupled with UCLH’s expertise in radiotherapy and cancer care, means this new service will offer high quality care to patients from across the globe.

"This partnership is the latest milestone in the development of our world-class centre. As a result both NHS and private patients will be able to benefit from this advanced treatment in London.” said Catherine Pollard, Director of Strategic Development, UCLH.

Chris Chandler, founder and president of Proton International, has led the development and operation of 15 proton centres in the United States and abroad. He said: “We’re very pleased to be working with UCLH and UK private medical insurers to provide private patients with the highest level of care and comfort and access to appropriate clinical trials in this new facility.  The partnership will provide access to proton therapy to both UCLH and qualified consultants from other Institutions for their UK and International private patients.

The partnership was formed following a competitive tendering process.

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