First proton therapy system arrives in South of England

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 10, 2018
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
The first installation of a proton
therapy system in the South of
England has taken place in Reading
Ion Beam Applications S.A. has set up the South of England’s first proton therapy system at the Rutherford Cancer Centre at the Thames Valley Science Park in Reading, located just under two hours from London.

Designed by Proton Partners International, the center will be the second in the U.K. to house a proton therapy system, specifically IBA’s ProteusONE solution, following the installation of the first in South Wales in May 2017, and will provide greater access among Londoners and other surrounding areas to an alternative form of treatment to conventional radiation.

“It’s wonderful to see another of our centers move closer to providing proton beam therapy treatment here in the U.K.,” said Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners International, in a statement. “The Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley is particularly exciting. Its close proximity to London and Heathrow allows for it to become a hub for patients in the South of England or those travelling to the U.K. for treatment.”

More than 90,000 cancer patients in the U.K. are treated each year with radical radiotherapy. Of these, 10 percent, according to PPI, would be better off undergoing proton therapy.

Comprised of a 52-ton cyclotron and gantry, the ProteusONE system is designed to administer image-guided intensity-modulated proton therapy, and will enable the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley to treat 500 patients annually. It also will be joined by Philips Ambient Experience technology, which utilizes colored lights and soothing images to relax and optimize patient experience.

Another item to be implemented is the Veritas SmartVue Natural Window System, the first pre-engineered system that provides beautiful views of the outside before and after treatment to lift the spirits of patients without exposing them to radiation. Its installation at the Reading Centre will be the first for the solution in Europe.

“Once the proton beam therapy facility becomes operational, patients from across the region will have an opportunity to save considerable travel by being treated closer to home than hitherto – benefiting their well-being and also that of their families,” Professor Richard Ellis, director of Health Partnerships at the University of Reading, said in a statement. Today’s events are also highly significant to the University of Reading’s development of, and continuing investment in, the Thames Valley Science Park.”

The first bout of proton therapy was administered to a patient in April at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales in Newport.

PPI is currently building additional Rutherford Cancer Centres in Northumberland and Liverpool as part of its objective to build eight across the U.K. that will be accessible within 90 minutes to 75 percent of the U.K.’s population.

In addition to proton therapy, the centers will offer cancer patients access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and well-being services.

The Rutherford Cancer centre Thames Valley is expected to commence radiotherapy treatment this month and the first bouts of proton therapy next year.

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