The developer of the UK’s first proton beam therapy centre, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), has opened the bidding for the project to select a contractor to design and build its new cancer treatment centre.
Proton beam therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses a precision high-energy beam of particles to destroy cancer cells. The treatment is especially successful at treating complex childhood cancers, and is also used for the treatment of brain cancers, head and neck cancers and sarcomas. Since there are no Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) facilities in Britain yet, patients who need the treatment have to go abroad.
The Government has committed £250m to fund the two PBT centres, one at UCLU in London and the other at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.
UCLH’s joint venture with The Christie Hospital will see the provision of first PBT services in the UK with the capacity to treat around 1,500 patients every year.
According to the developer, from 2018 onwards PBT will be offered to patients in the UK at UCLH and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.
Camden Council planners approved the planning application for the new centre in March 2013. Subject to theapproval of the Greater London Authority, the construction works could start in spring 2015.
The developer is expecting to make the centre available to the public by 2018.
Dr Yen-Ch’ing Chang, UCLH lead on proton beam therapy, says: "Proton beam therapy’s main advantage is that less normal tissue is irradiated. This is a particular advantage in children and young adults. Irradiating healthy tissues in children and teenagers can result in significant long term effects, such as problems with growth, IQ, development through puberty, hormone deficiencies, fertility, as well as an increased risk of the development of a second cancer. Proton beam therapy significantly reduces the chance of such side effects occurring.”
Kieran Mc Daid, Director of Estates, UCLH said: “This next stage of our Estate Strategy will see UCLH develop a Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre in Grafton Way supported by operating theatres and a specialist cancer inpatient facility above ground.
“We look forward to developing the scheme further with the continued support of our expert team including JLL as planning consultants and both Scott Tallon Walker in association with Edward Williams Architects who have helped us in securing this most significant milestone event.”
Photo Source: The Construction Index