New £35m proton therapy centre will offer advanced life-saving cancer therapy in Liverpool

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Proton Partners International

Cancer is a major social problem and it is the main cause of death between the ages 45-65 years. In the treatment of cancer, radio therapy (RT) plays an essential role. RT with protons, due to their unique physical and radiobiological properties, offers several advantages over photons for specific cancer types. In particular, they penetrate the patient with minimal diffusion, they deposit maximum energy at the end of their range, and they can be shaped as narrow focused and scanned pencil beams of variable penetration depth.

It was announced today that a new £35m Rutherford Cancer Centre North West will be established in Liverpool to offer life-saving proton beam therapy. The centre will form part of the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) £1bn Paddington Village scheme that will create more than 100 jobs. Proton Partners International is the company behind the project and one of the leading providers in the world.

Prof Carsten P Welsch, Head of the Physics Department, says: “I am absolutely thrilled about this news. It brings advanced cancer therapy to Liverpool that will benefit many patients. At the university of Liverpool, we have a vibrant research programme in this area in several departments, in particular in our physics department. This new centre will help boost research activities in Liverpool further and make research in Liverpool once again stand out.”

The Department of Physics has a long history in R&D into medical applications going all the way back to Nobel Laureates Profs James Chadwick and Josef Rotblat. Today, the department pursues a very active research programme in medical applications including the development of advanced detector technologies in the Particle and Nuclear Physics clusters, THz imaging of cancerous tissue in the Condensed Matter Physics Cluster, and the optimisation of medical accelerators in our Accelerator Science cluster which is also leading the European research network OMA in this area.

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