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  1. #1
    Moderator Arthur Little's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Welsh Clinic Pioneers New Cancer~Fighting Facility

    ... Rutherford Cancer Centre has now taken delivery of a key component for activating the UK's first high-energy proton beam machine at its South East Wales clinic in Newport, Monmouthshire.

    According to Mr Mike Moran, the Chief Executive of Proton Partners International (PPI), the new equipment - "the most strategic health project to arrive in for decades" - is capable of targeting difficult to reach cancers, such as spinal tumours, thereby, in turn, minimising damage to surrounding tissues ... as well as causing fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy.

    It is expected to become operational at the Newport Centre within the next year or so, and should, eventually, eliminate the current need to send patients abroad for treatment.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-s...wales-39936477 ...



  2. #2
    Moderator Arthur Little's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Little View Post
    ... Rutherford Cancer Centre has now taken delivery of a key component for activating the UK's first high-energy proton beam machine at its South East Wales clinic in Newport, Monmouthshire.

    According to Mr Mike Moran, the Chief Executive of Proton Partners International (PPI), the new equipment - "the most strategic health project to arrive in for decades" - is capable of targeting difficult to reach cancers, such as spinal tumours, thereby, in turn, minimising damage to surrounding tissues ... as well as causing fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy.

    It is expected to become operational at the Newport Centre within the next year or so, and should, eventually, eliminate the current need to send patients abroad for treatment.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-s...wales-39936477 ...
    AMAZING device! Yet seemingly ... ... not deemed worthy of comment.


  3. #3
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    This is indeed " worthy of comment " !


    Unfortunately at least 2/5, possibly up to half, of people may expect some form of cancer in their lifetime, as life expectancy increases.


    The best treatment of cancer is by a " multidisciplinary team ", which will agree not only on surgery / chemotherapy / radiotherapy / " biological agents " ( such as those affecting the immune system ), but also on full supportive care of patients.


    Immunotherapy - strengthening the patient’s immune system against their cancer - is showing great promise. Treatments will increasingly be " targeted " to an individual patient’s cancer. However, if such treatments are to succeed, as much as possible of the cancer should first be " removed " by surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


    Radiation delivers energy to tissues, which damages DNA and kills cells. The most commonly used type is " external beam " from a linear accelerator source, the energy being delivered as photons ( no mass or charge ). It does result in damage to normal tissues adjacent to the cancer, and other side effects, despite modern scanning techniques to " focus " the radiation.


    The advantage of " proton beam therapy ", which could be available in Wales and other UK centres by next year, is that protons ( positively charged particles ) have little " side scatter ". They give a more focused beam with less dose to surrounding structures. This is especially useful when treating cancers where the adjacent normal tissue is very sensitive to damage - such as spinal cord, base of brain, eye, gut, liver and kidneys.


    The problem - as with cancer drugs which are getting better but also dearer - is cost . Protons need much energy to get them moving. Cyclotrons which accelerate protons are at least 10 times more expensive than a " conventional " radiotherapy machine ( around 2.5 million ). Sending patients abroad ( such as USA and Switzerland ) also costs the NHS well over 100,000 for each ( about 140 / year ). This is in addition to the need to upgrade / replace " routine " radiotherapy machines, many of which are over 10 years old.


    It’s been estimated ( by cancer expert Karol Sikora ) that the UK requirement for proton machines could be as few as 12. This would certainly be better - and cheaper - for patients and their relatives than sending them abroad. But the best treatment doesn’t come cheaply, however it’s funded . In the Philippines, only " conventional radiotherapy " is available for now, unless the patient can be treated in the USA or elsewhere. This is part of the challenge of meeting the demands of any health service, whichever government is in power.


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