Manchester and London would be home to state of the art radiotherapy centers by 2017. This has been confirmed by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, according to whom the center would add a vital dimension to the cancer facilities in UK.
Mr. Lansley was pretty categorical in stating that there would be nearly 1,500 patients that would benefit from these facilities each year. The project would cost nearly £250 million. Once completed, there would a cutting-edge proton beam therapy available to all cancer patients at the University College London Hospital (UCLH) and The Christie. This therapy uses a particle beam to destroy cancer cells in patients. These two hospitals would provide a much needed relief to all cancer patients in UK who till date had to travel to Switzerland or US to get this therapy.
Dr. Ed Smith from Christie was elated that they were chosen to get this radiotherapy center. He described the importance of such facility over conventional X-ray treatment. While treating a patient with X-rays, there is a possibility that it would go though the tumor and affect the normal tissue. This is not the case in proton beam therapy. With its use, the beam can be stopped at tumor itself, which does not affect normal tissue. Many medical experts have stated that this therapy is particularly essential in treating complex childhood cancers and brain, neck and head cancers among adults.
The Chief Executive of UCLH, Sir Robert Naylor, was also happy about this announcement stating that it would help save a lot of lives each year. This would not only help the patients but would help NHS become a world leader in pediatric radiotherapy.
Earlier in 2010, there were three hospital that were considered as host hospitals for the new centers after which University Hospitals Birmingham was dropped stating that it would only get one if the demand increases.