The UK does not currently have a high-energy
proton beam therapy service.
There is, however, a low-energy proton beam
therapy service in Liverpool which can treat tumours of the eye
(but cannot treat tumours deeper in the body).
More information about this service can be found at: www.ccotrust.nhs.uk/patients/treatment/protontherapy.
Patients who might benefit from high-energy proton beam therapy
are currently referred to American or European centres under a
Government-funded programme. To date the majority of patients sent
abroad have been children.
Some patients who might benefit cannot be treated abroad,
however. This is because they are too unwell or there are other
issues that make it impractical to travel. With this in mind, the
Government has announced plans to invest £150 million to support
the development of a new national proton beam therapy service.
Given The Christie's strong research background, reputation in
developing X-ray therapy technologies, and our clinical links to
other specialist services in the North West, we have been chosen as
a potential site to develop this service. We have been working with
the Department of Health to build a business case for proton beam
therapy in Manchester since autumn 2010.