30th January 2016: Proton Partners International Ltd has welcomed a “pioneering and positive” study published in The Lancet Oncology journal today, showing the significant sparing of damage to critical tissues by the use of protons.

Led by Dr Torunn Yock from Massachusetts General Hospital, the study found that proton beam therapy causes fewer severe side effects in treating childhood brain cancer than conventional radiotherapy.

Commenting on the study Professor Karol Sikora, Chief Medical Adviser of Proton Partners International, said: “This pioneering and positive new study demonstrates that proton beam therapy can be highly effective in not just treating cancer, but ensuring patients have the best possible quality of life after going through treatment.

“Due to its high precision and accuracy, proton beam therapy is particularly good for treating cancers in children who are more likely to suffer long-term effects from receiving radiotherapy, in addition to hard-to-reach cancers in the brain or near the spinal cord.

“International studies suggest 10% of curative radiotherapy should be delivered by protons, and to properly meet this demand we would actually need 18 proton beam therapy machines in the UK.

“The NHS is building only two machines using legacy technology whereas we will be using the most advanced machines for precision delivery from Ion Beam Applications (IBA), with even more precise targeting than systems available elsewhere.

“Britain currently runs the risk of falling behind in delivering high quality radiotherapy for all its patients. We at Proton Partners believe it is crucial we start providing advanced cancer therapies for patients and we are excited to be a part of driving this change in the UK’s cancer landscape.”

Proton beam therapy is not yet available in the UK, and patients are currently sent abroad to receive treatment. Proton Partners International however are building three centres across the UK which will provide high-energy proton beam therapy, in addition to traditional radiotherapy, chemotherapy and imaging. The first centre is set to open its doors in autumn 2017 in Newport, and the centres in Northumberland and London will open in 2018.