The centres have treated over 100 patients with high energy proton beam therapy for various cancers including brain, head and neck, lung, pancreas, oesophagus, sarcoma, bladder, prostate and breast.
The rising demand for proton beam therapy comes on the back of a recent ground-breaking study involving over 1,500 patients which found that proton beam therapy can be as effective at treating certain types of cancer but with significantly fewer side effects.
Mike Moran, CEO of Rutherford Health PLC which oversees the network of Rutherford Cancer Centres, said: “Just one and a half years ago, there were no proton beam therapy facilities in the UK. Today, the Rutherford network has treated over 100 patients with proton beam therapy. That is a remarkable turnaround.”
“The development of our centres and the expansion of proton beam therapy provision throughout the UK clearly indicates that there is strong demand for this treatment. Our oncologist training programme has been a crucial driver in that development process, ensuring patient treatment is performed in a safe and efficient manner across the board.”
“In addition to contributing to wider growth in UK oncology, the programme incorporates a peer review system that ensures all treatment plans receive oversight from Penn’s world-leading experience and expertise. This has also allowed us to align the use of proton therapy with that of Europe and the USA.”
Dr Shanmugasundaram Ramkumar, who went through the programme and is now an oncologist at the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Reading, said: “The proton beam therapy training offered at Penn was concise and meets the needs of oncologists unfamiliar with proton beam therapy planning and treatment for a variety of cancers.”
Rutherford Health hopes to widen access to precision radiotherapy including proton beam therapy and thereby significantly enhance patient outcomes as well as overall quality of life for cancer patients across the UK.