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Proton beam therapy: a new option for some cancer patients?

Proton beam therapy: a new option for some cancer patients?

The UK’s first high energy proton beam therapy centre recently opened in Manchester

One of your technicians comes to you during a quiet moment.

“I keep meaning to look it up, but I never seem to get around to it,” she says. “There’s this thing called proton beam therapy that seems to be in the news quite a lot at the moment – I think because the first person has been treated at a centre in the UK. What is it?”

What is proton beam therapy?

Proton beam therapy (PBT) involves speeding up sub-atomic particles and streaming them at cancer cells in order to kill them. It is a similar approach to conventional radiotherapy, except protons stop once they enter the affected cells, which limits the damage to surrounding tissues and organs, reducing the incidence of side effects.

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