Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of external radiotherapy that uses high-energy proton beams instead of photon x-ray beams or electrons. Carefully measured doses of protons are delivered to the precise area needing treatment, using the latest IBA ProteusONE technology. This ensures that the delivery of proton beam therapy is highly accurate and prevents the risk of radiation reaching surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiotherapy is used to kill and destroy cancer cells. It utilises radiation in the form of high-energy x-rays, known as photons, to kill and damage the cancerous cells and prevent their growth and reproduction. It can be used as a non-surgical option to treat cancer, and it can also be used to shrink a tumour or in combination with other treatments.
The Rutherford Cancer Centres and Elekta are bringing the next generation of personalised adaptive radiotherapy technology to oncology centres across the UK, with the new MR-linac Elekta Unity available at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West in Liverpool from late 2020.
We are here to make you feel as comfortable as possible when you visit one of our UK cancer centres. We understand that you may feel anxious about your first visit, so we have put together some information to help you.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call us on 0800 210 0402.
You can be referred to Rutherford Cancer Centres if your consultant oncologist has registered to work with us. Please see here for a list of the consultants who work with us. If you have any questions, please call us on 0800 210 0402.
Further information on the referral process and a snapshot of the typical patient pathway can be found on our referral page.
When you first come to one of the centres, please bring your patient consent form, which your consultant will have completed with you. If you have health insurance, please make sure you also bring your insurance details. Some insurers will provide you with a letter confirming your insurance approval of referral for treatment.
The type of treatment you are having at Rutherford will determine the length of time you spend in the centre. Please feel free to bring some personal entertainment with you, such as a book, tablet or mp3 player. Free Wi-Fi is available at each Rutherford centre.
Please bring any medicines you may be taking along with a list of any repeat prescriptions from your GP. This includes vitamin supplements, herbal remedies or homoeopathic preparations. It is important to let your consultant/radiographer or a member of your treatment team at the centre know if you're planning to take any new medicines. The medicines that you're taking or planning to take could interfere with your treatment, which is why we need to check if they are still suitable for you.
You are welcome to bring along a friend, family member or carer with you. If you would like to bring children along (whom are not receiving treatment), please make sure another adult is also present, as children will not be able to be left unsupervised in our waiting areas.
You will meet several different members of staff when you visit. Our staff wear name badges, so you know who they are. If you're unsure of who you need to speak to, please speak to one of our reception team who will be happy to help you.
The centre is wheelchair accessible and we also have wheelchairs available for you to use. If you require a staff member to help you get into the centre, please ask at reception where we will be able to support you.
Radiotherapy and proton beam therapy are both delivered in private treatment rooms. You have the option to receive your immunotherapy or chemotherapy treatment in our main treatment room, or in one of the private side rooms connected to our main treatment suites.
We continually review our services to ensure we are meeting the needs and exceeding expectations of all our patients. If you'd like to provide feedback, please request a satisfaction survey and return this to your nearest centre.
*The suitability of treating certain body areas with proton beam therapy is dependent on the location and staging of the cancer.
Before treatment begins, an oncologist will discuss and explain the full aim of the proton beam therapy treatment plan and if further services will be required alongside it. Proton beam therapy can be used as a sole method for treating certain cancers or used in combination with other cancer services, such as chemotherapy, or to ensure that any remaining cancerous cells are destroyed following tumour removal surgery.
The total cost of treatment is unique to the patient's individual needs, including the area affected and the length of treatment. There is no one-size-suits-all pricing bracket; instead, a personalised cancer treatment plan will be built for every patient that comes to Rutherford Cancer Centres.
Proton therapy (also called Proton beam therapy) can be delivered as a main treatment method or alongside other treatments including surgery. Specific treatments used will depend on a patient’s individual circumstances and the type, stage and location of cancer that needs treating.
International patients can also travel to the UK to be treated at the Rutherford, where we offer a full concierge service to make it as seamless as possible for any patients travelling to us. More information on this can be found on our international patients page.
Patients meeting the optimal criteria for treatment via proton therapy respond well to treatment. However, it is not possible to give a measured success rate as success can be defined in many ways depending on individual circumstances.