The Christie in Manchester will this month become the first NHS hospital in the UK to treat a cancer patient with state of the art proton beam therapy.
PBT has been offered overseas to NHS patients since 2008 and the plan is for two world-class centres in Manchester and London. University College London Hospitals is scheduled to go online in summer 2020.
Each centre will each treat up to 750 patients a year. Patients suitable for PBT have been identified and are in the planning phase with clinicians to determine the best date for their first treatment.
Cally Palmer, national cancer director for NHS England said: "There have been huge advances in precision cancer treatment which hundreds of thousands of patients across the UK are now benefiting from.
“The first NHS patient undergoing high energy proton beam therapy in England marks a major milestone for the NHS and, as the NHS develops a long-term plan for the future, it also marks the end of the first phase of the plans to radically transform cancer treatment across the country.”
Proton beam therapy targets certain cancers very precisely, increasing success rates and reducing side-effects. It targets tumours with less damage to surrounding healthy tissue and is particularly appropriate for certain cancers in children, who are at risk of lasting damage to organs that are still growing.
Chief executive of the Christie, Roger Spencer said: “To be just days away from offering high energy proton beam therapy to patients in the UK for the very first time is really exciting.
“Patients will benefit hugely from having the service available in Manchester, bringing treatment closer for them and their families who currently have to travel abroad and resulting in less upheaval during what is an extremely stressful time in their lives.”