UK’s first proton beam machine arrives at Newport clinic

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PPI

Image caption

How the final proton beam therapy room will look

A vital component of the UK’s first proton beam therapy machine is to be delivered to its new home in Newport.

Proton Partners International (PPI) will receive the part that will fire the cancer-treating beam at its Rutherford Cancer Centre on Saturday.

PPI said the UK’s “most-advanced piece of cancer machinery” could transform treatment for 500 patients with hard-to-reach tumours each year.

Currently, treatment is only available in the UK for rare eye cancers.

But the Welsh Government said proton beam therapy will be available at the centre to NHS Wales patients with certain cancers “within the next year”.

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Media captionAnimated graphic comparing traditional radiation treatment with proton beam therapy.

PPI chief executive Mike Moran said it was the “most strategic health project in this country in decades”.

“It’s significant for the people of Wales to have high-energy proton beam therapy available,” he added.

He said the treatment would “certainly improve” clinical outcomes and the experience for patients, who up to now have had to spend up to six weeks abroad to get proton beam therapy.

After its installation, the machine will be up and running next year.

Image caption

The cyclotron accelerator needed a crane to be delivered

Analysis by BBC Wales health correspondent Owain Clarke

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