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UK’s first high energy proton beam therapy system to treat cancer has arrived in south Wales. The technology is understood to be costing £17m. The investment ensures that patients in the UK will no longer need to go abroad for treatment.

The installation of the 55-ton cyclotron ProteusONE solution will take a year to complete. This marks as the final stage of building the Rutherford Cancer center in Newport. Newport will be the first center for Proton Partners International and they are committed to opening a new network of Rutherford Cancer centers across the UK in the coming years.

The cyclotron that is being installed will be maintained by IBA (Ion Beam Applications). They generate the protons used in proton beam therapy treatment. The therapy uses a high-energy beam of protons rather than X-rays to deliver radiotherapy for patients, reducing the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.

Professor Gordon McVie, chairman of Proton Partners international said, “This is a milestone for cancer treatment in the UK. We are committed to transforming cancer care and that is why we are installing the most advanced proton therapy technology available. Around 10% of cancer patients will benefit from proton beam therapy by having significantly less long-term side effects. The availability of this treatment in the UK will mean over time that patients will no longer have to endure traveling abroad for treatment, which is the case at present.”

The center recently opened to receive referrals for conventional treatments and following this morning’s successful arrival of the proton beam cyclotron, Protons Partners International will begin installation. Engineers from IBA and their Physics team will work together to accept and commission the system for clinical use.

Proton Partner International has raised £160m to open four other proton beam cancer centers across the UK. They will also offer an all-encompassing cancer service, as every patient is different and requires a unique treatment plan.

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