Proton Partners International (PPI), the first providers of proton beam therapy in the UK, said today that Britain can take ‘major strides’ this year towards improving cancer care.
The development of new facilities providing advanced cancer treatment and accelerated diagnostic services will be important initial steps in helping to improve cancer survival rates in the UK, which have lagged behind European and North American countries.
Proton Partners International operates the Rutherford Cancer Centre network in the UK and Rutherford Diagnostics.
Rupert Lowe, chairman of Proton Partners International, said: “As someone who had to travel abroad to receive proton beam therapy, I am delighted to be reporting on World Cancer Day today that the situation is changing at last in the UK.
“We were extremely proud to treat the first proton beam therapy patient in the UK last April and scores more have benefited from this treatment without having to travel abroad. We are also pleased to see the development of proton beam therapy facilities within the NHS.
“We are delighted to have been commissioned by health commissioners in Wales to treat adult NHS patients with proton beam therapy and are very proud that our first NHS patient began treatment today.
“The UK Government recently set out an ambitious 10-year plan for the NHS which includes major commitments to tackling cancer. We firmly believe that given the magnitude of the challenge, a collaborative approach among healthcare providers will achieve the best results for patients.”
Proton Partners International was founded four years ago today on World Cancer Day and since then four Rutherford Cancer Centres have either opened or are under construction in the UK. The Rutherford Cancer Centre North East will start offering proton beam therapy in addition to its other services in May while the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley will offer PBT in August.
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, said today it has increased its investment in Proton Partners International.Neil Mesher, CEO of Philips UK and Ireland, said: “Our work with PPI is helping to increase access to truly tailored cancer treatments that can improve both clinical outcomes and the patient experience here in the UK. We’re committed to making a real difference in cancer care, and this is an important step to ensuring the UK remains a leading provider of high quality cancer care.”Mike Moran, chief executive officer, Proton Partners International, said: “The most important development in the last four years for us has been offering patients a greater say and choice in cancer treatment. We are delighted to be supported in developing our advanced facilities even further by class-leading organisations such as Philips, Elekta and IBA.”