Proton Partners International Ltd is to open treat’ment centres in Cardiff, London and Northumbria by 2017 and the first ‘ Cardiff ‘ will be operational next year. The establishment of the centres will mark a significant breakthrough in the provision of cancer treatment in the UK. The lack of access to the latest treatment options in radiotherapy in the UK has been highlighted in a flood of patient dramas in the press.

Proton therapy hit the headlines when the delay in provision of machines in the NHS led to many patients, acknowl’edged to need Proton therapy, being transported to the USA and elsewhere for treatment, which unsurprisingly is much more costly than could be available in the UK.

IBA (Ion Beam Applications), the world’s leading pro’vider of proton therapy solutions for the treatment of cancer, has been selected by Proton Partners to install its single-room proton therapy system, Proteus’ONE, in each of the three UK centres.

Philips has been appointed to deliver software and tech’nology tools including Philips’ Pinnacle Treatment Planning which delivers an intuitive planning environment that simpli’fies workflow. Philips will also provide big bore CT scanners at each centre and a PET CT in the Cardiff centre.

Before appointing its suppliers, Proton Partners Inter’national conducted an exhaustive selection process across two continents, including visiting the Willis Knighton Hospital in Shreeveport, Louisianna to see an IBA treatment room in operation. Final selection was made on technical and commercial merit.

Professor Gordon McVie, Senior Consultant at the European Institute of Oncology and chairman of Proton Partners International, said: ‘These appoint’ments are a significant milestone along the pathway to establishing the first proton beam therapy centres in the UK and reflect the quality and strength of our commitment to improve cancer treatment.’

Mike Moran, managing director of Proton Partners International Limited, commented: ‘We are very pleased to announce that we will be working with world class providers who will equip our centres to the highest specifications. We are excited about the opportunity to work with our partners in the NHS, universities and the Life Sciences community to help support the research effort in the wider use of proton beam therapy.’