The Newport centre, which is operated by Proton Partners International, is the first centre in the UK to offer high energy proton beam therapy

Professor Roger Taylor, Senior Clinical Advisor and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, said: “As a clinician who sees the effects of cancer and its treatment every day, it is great to see some NHS patients will be able to benefit from more local treatment.

“Proton therapy is not a panacea for all types of cancer, however we have seen where it can be beneficial in areas such as brain tumours or cancers of the spine or head and neck, and working with the NHS means that adult patients in Wales will now have an option to be treated closer to home.”

Jamie Powell, Centre Manager at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, said: “Providing access to the Rutherford Cancer Centres for NHS patients is something we have been working towards from day one in order to ensure that as many patients as possible throughout Wales can access this treatment closer to home. Increasingly proton therapy will support research opportunities and alliances with the life sciences sector in Wales and we look forward to welcoming our first NHS patients soon.”

Dr Sian Lewis, Managing Director of WHSSC, said: “Following a robust procurement process we are pleased that proton beam therapy will be commissioned for some adult patients from the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales in Newport.

“Patients who require this highly specialised treatment have complex and often rare conditions and it will be of great benefit to them if they can receive this treatment closer to home.  We care greatly about commissioning the best services for people and will be working closely with the Rutherford Centre and our other partners to deliver the highest quality care for our patients.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “I welcome the news that the Rutherford Cancer Centre will be a referral option for adult patients in Wales. It is good to see government, health service and industry collaborating for the benefit of patients in Wales and to make an important contribution to the life sciences sector, which is an area of strength for Wales.”

The first non-NHS patient to receive high energy proton beam therapy in the UK was treated in April of this year at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales. The Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley in Reading and the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East in Northumberland will open proton beam therapy suites next year, allowing for even greater access to this hugely in-demand treatment. Each Rutherford Cancer Centre is equipped to treat up to 500 patients per year.

UPDATE 18/12/18:

We have had considerable interest in the availability of proton beam therapy since the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) announced that the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales was approved for adult patients referred from the NHS in Wales.

While comprehensive planning has taken place to fully develop the paediatric pathway so that children also have access to proton beam therapy in Wales, we are continuing to work with partners including Cardiff & Vale University Health Board to ensure the necessary agreements are in place. Once those agreements are in place the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales anticipates being approved by WHSSC to deliver proton beam therapy for NHS Wales patients across all age groups.