Proton beam therapy is providing new solutions to cancer care
By World Healthcare Journal-
UK cancer care is reaching new heights through enhanced provision of proton beam therapy, says WHJ Editor Sarah Cartledge.
Over the past few years the UK has made significant strides in the adoption and implementation of innovative cancer treatments, placing it right at the forefront of personalised and advanced cancer care globally. This is in large part thanks to the introduction of proton beam therapy to the UK in early 2018, which is the process of transforming cancer care in the UK and fuelling strong demand for personalised oncology care and precision radiotherapy.
At the vanguard of this revolution is Proton Partners International, a UK healthcare provider that has established three advanced cancer care centres under the Rutherford Cancer Centres brand. The company is recognised as the world’s leading developer of proton beam therapy clinics and has established itself as a leader in its field in UK and the Middle East.
Targeting cancer cells effectively
Proton beam therapy is a type of radiotherapy that delivers heavily charged protons in a more targeted manner to reduce damage to peripheral tissue and organs. It's high precision and ability to stop at a defined point means that it dramatically reduces long-term side effects. There are more than 90,000 cancer patients in the UK who require radical radiotherapy and at least 10% of these patients – the figure accepted throughout Europe - could be better treated with high energy proton beam therapy.
Due to its precision and accuracy, research has shown that proton beam therapy is particularly good for treating cancers in children and can effectively treat hard-to-reach cancers in the brain or near the spinal cord. This means that patients benefit from fewer unwelcome side effects and enjoy much better quality of life during and after treatment. “We know that proton beam therapy can have a transformative effect for cancer patients, particularly when it comes to quality of life. We are determined to make this treatment available to as many people as possible and this naturally means opening our facilities and expertise to a global community,” says Mike Moran, CEO of Proton Partners International.
The company hopes to expand its network by building a centre within a 90-minute drive of 75% of the UK population. PPI’s first centre, the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, was the first to treat a cancer patient with proton beam therapy in the UK in Spring 2018. The centre has since treated more than 35 patients with proton beam therapy and has a partnership with the Welsh National Health Service for the provision of proton beam therapy to all adult cancer patients in Wales.
“Despite being just four years old, Proton Partners International has transformed cancer care in the UK, taking us from a country that was lagging behind other advanced countries to one that is now at the very forefront when it comes to precision radiotherapy and the provision of high energy proton beam therapy,” says Mike Moran.
The network’s other two fully operational centres are the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East Northumberland and the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley in Reading. A fourth centre is currently under construction in Liverpool and will be completed in 2020.
In addition to proton beam therapy, all three centres provide conventional treatments including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy as well as offering a suite of advanced diagnostic and screening services to deliver precision medicine and personalised care for patients.
More recently, the Rutherford Cancer Centre network has emerged as a clinic of choice for international patients. The centres have treated a number of patients from the Middle East and Africa and Proton Partners International enjoys a permanent presence in the UAE, where it is helping to develop the country's proton beam therapy facility. Patients travelling to the UK can expect to benefit from a highly personalised care experience and a treatment programme that is tailored to them.
“As a leading healthcare provider, we have global ambitions. We have already been treating international patients and we are helping other countries develop their cancer care services,” Moran says. “The UK is at the cutting edge of advanced health and cancer care infrastructure; international patients should take comfort from the fact that these specialist services are available to them along with highly personalised care services through the Rutherford Cancer Centre Network. Distance should not prevent patients receiving the treatments they need.
Moreover, the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley in Reading is only a 25-minute journey from Central London and Heathrow, making it ideal for international patients. The Thames Valley centre also boasts a presence on Harley Street, London's Renowned hub of specialist medicine, where it maintains permanent consultation rooms for cancer patients.
“We are delighted to have played such an instrumental role in changing the face of UK cancer care,” adds Moran. “We hope this is just the start with even bigger things to come. Our impact has been noted both within the healthcare industry and by the UK government. ”
Sarah Cartledge is Editor of the World Healthcare Journal
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