We need to test this new technology to be certain that the most safe and effective (and cost-effective) treatment is being offered.
The precision of conventional radiotherapy has come a long way over the last two decades and there are some examples already of where it would be difficult for PBT to do better – for instance, in the treatment of localised prostate cancer, the long-term side effects we are seeing with conventional radiotherapy are low, so PBT is unlikely to offer additional benefit.
The second planned facility is due to open at University College London Hospital in 2020.
In this blog post, Professor David Sebag-Montefiore, Chair of NCRI’s Proton Beam Therapy Clinical Trials Strategy Group, tells us why research in to PBT is so important and how the NCRI is developing a collaborative research strategy around PBT for the UK.
Thanks to a £250m investment from the UK government, the first of two NHS Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centres has opened.