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 now available at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West in Liverpool.
Unfortunately for Simon, it was his second cancer diagnosis, having fought the disease some years earlier. Having first-hand experience of the treatment process and its various pros and cons, Simon was determined to research the best possible option for him when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of 2017.
What followed was a time of intense research and various medical consultations before learning about high energy proton beam therapy – a treatment option made even more appealing when he learned that the first centre in the UK was due to open its doors imminently.
Simon was the first patient to be treated with high energy proton beam therapy here in the UK at the Rutherford Cancer Centres.
Proton beam therapy can be used in various forms of cancer, however it is particularly effective for tackling hard-to-reach tumours given that it reduces damage to surrounding healthy tissue, which in turn may reduce side effects – an aspect which greatly appealed to Simon.
Meeting with the team at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, Simon made history in Spring 2018 when he became the first patient to experience this here in the UK, leading the way for various others who have since embarked on this treatment option in their own fight against cancer. While every patient and every cancer is different, in Simon’s case he found the side effects of treatment were minimal and he was able to go about his daily life, going to work or dropping his son at school as normal.