NHS plans to zap cancer with proton beams

British cancer patients could be offered a radical new form of radiotherapy that burns out tumours while doing far less damage to the surrounding tissue.

The National Health Service (NHS) has short listed three sites around the country to build britain’s first proton therapy centres, where tumours would be destroyed by beams of subatomic particles fired into patient’s bodies. Each centre would cast about £80 million.

It is also in talks with a health firm that plans to build a fourth centre in London to treat NHS patients.

Proton therapy could mark great advances in cancer treatments for years. “Proton beams allow us to target tumours precisely while doing far less damage to the surrounding tissue than is possible with conventional X-Ray therapy,” said Stuart Green, director of medical physics at University Hospital Birmingham, one of the centres hoping to create proton beam facility.

The Times Newspapers

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