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UK's first proton beam cancer centre to open in Newport

UK's first proton beam cancer centre to open in Newport
From BBC - April 3, 2018

The UK's first high-energy proton beam therapy centre for treatment of life-threatening cancers is due to open in Wales.

The private clinic in Newport is expected to start using the treatment next week.

But the parents of Freya Bevan, five, from Neath, who was treated in the United States, said it was frustrating it had taken so long to arrive.

Her mother said it had given them their "little girl back".

The Rutherford Cancer Centre, operated by Proton Partners International in the Coedkernew area of city, has been granted regulatory approval for the treatment by Health Inspectorate Wales.

Treatment is likely to cost about 60,000 a patient, but it is not yet clear whether Welsh NHS patients will be treated in Newport and discussions are continuing between the company and the Welsh NHS.

Proton beam is a highly targeted form of radiotherapy that can treat hard to reach cancers with a reduced risk of damaging surrounding tissues.

It is more expensive than traditional radiotherapy but until now cancer patients who wanted the treatment would have had to travel abroad.

Three years ago, Freya underwent proton beam therapy in Oklahoma City for a rare brain tumour.

Her parents' bid for funding for the treatment was turned down by the NHS and her community helped raise the 110,000 needed for the treatment abroad.

Freya, now five, has recovered and is attending school.

Her mother, Katherine Bevan, said: "There were dark days, when we did not know what the future would hold," she said.

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