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England’s first high-energy proton beam therapy machine was installed at the Christie Centre in Manchester yesterday. The 90-tonne proton beam therapy machine aims to open in August 2018, and will treat 750 patients per year. Cancer patients will be able to receive proton beam therapy treatment on the NHS in England, without having to travel abroad for the treatment.
Since 2008, the NHS has been funding patients to travel outside England to receive proton beam therapy. Proton beam therapy became known to the general public as a potential treatment for cancer in 2014 when five year old Ashya King’s parents took him to The Czech Republic to receive the treatment, after being refused treatment on the NHS.
University College London Hospital will open a second high-energy proton beam therapy centre in the summer of 2020. The government is investing £250 million to establish both centres in London and Manchester. The UK’s first high energy proton beam therapy machine was installed at The Rutherford Cancer Centre, South Wales, earlier this month.