Having high energy proton beam therapy (PBT) available from two NHS centres (one at UCLH and one at The Christie in Manchester) will make a big difference to patients and their families.
PBT is a particularly effective form of radiotherapy used to treat certain types of cancers. It uses a high energy beam of protons rather than high energy X-rays to deliver a dose of radiotherapy. It directs the radiation treatment to precisely where it is needed with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. The treatment is particularly suitable to complex childhood cancers and other hard to treat cancers.
At the moment, people who need PBT have to travel abroad for treatment. In March 2015, the government announced an investment of £250 million to develop two UK PBT centres (one at UCLH and the other at The Christie in Manchester). This development is a key component of the Government's Cancer Strategy (Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer (2011) and a case was made in a strategic outline case
The UCLH centre is expected to treat patients by 2020.