The first patient in the UK to undergo proton beam therapy was treated for prostate cancer at the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport, South Wales, in April. This treatment “opens up a new frontier for treatment in the UK”, said his consultant.
The Rutherford Cancer Centre is the only clinic in the UK where high-energy proton beam therapy is currently available. However, the treatment at the Rutherford Cancer Centre is only available on a self-funded or private health insurance basis. Two NHS facilities are currently being built – one at The Christie Hospital in Manchester and another at University College London Hospital. Proton beam therapy will be available at The Christie later this year and in London in 2020. Since April 2008, around 400 patients have accessed proton beam therapy abroad.