Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced around 1,500 cancer patients a year will benefit from a cutting edge cancer treatment – Proton Beam Therapy
It will be available in London and Manchester.
Proton Beam Therapy is a type of radiotherapy, which uses a precision high-energy beam of particles to destroy cancer cells. The treatment is particularly suitable for complex childhood cancers, increasing success rates and reducing side-effects, such as deafness, loss of IQ and secondary cancers.
Given the complex nature of the treatment and facilities, Proton Beam Therapy won’t be fully available in England until 2017. Until then, the NHS will continue to fund patients in need of Proton Beam Therapy to go abroad – either to Switzerland or the USA. By 2014/15 the NHS will be spending £30 million per year sending up to 400 patients overseas.
Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said, “Developing a national proton beam therapy service is vital to ensuring our cancer facilities are world class. We have always said that it is patient outcomes which matter, and to get the best for patients we must always be looking to push the boundaries.
“Once this service is in place, it will mean more patients will be able to get this treatment, including those for whom travelling abroad for long periods is not possible.”
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