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More rare cancer treatment on NHS

18th August 2009

Charities have welcomed the fact that the NHS is investing in proton therapy to treat cancer of the brain and spine. 

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The government has said hospitals in England will be able to put their bids forward in order to hold the status of the "first national centre" to provide proton treatment.

Proton therapy identifies cancer cells by using radiation and does not damage tissues around the cells.

Electrons are deposited into the tumour, damaging the DNA of the cancerous cells and causing them to die.

There is a proton therapy unit in existence in Clatterbridge, on the Wirral,  but it only treats optical cancers. This meant patients with other types of cancer have to travel abroad to receive treatment.

Scientists have predicted that the new proton therapy centre would be used to treat around 400 people annually.

Wendy Fulcher, chairman of charity Brain Tumour Research, said: "This is excellent news."

"Previously patients or parents faced a terrible situation, forced to raise funds to go abroad for lifesaving treatment, adding to the stress of a brain tumour diagnosis."

"I hope this signals a shift in policy for increased funding for brain tumour treatment and research which is long overdue."

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Comments

Sarah Chamberlain

Wednesday 23rd December 2009 @ 18:30

Will Derriford Hospital have one of these machines? How much will the treatment cost?


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