First patient treated with proton beam therapy

11 July 2018, 12:23

Proton Beam Therapy

The first patient to have proton beam therapy in the UK, in Newport, says he thinks it's a big step forward for the country.

Simon Hardacre, 56, from the Forest of Dean, became the first patient to undergo proton beam therapy in the UK after having treatment for prostate cancer at the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport in April.

He said: "I feel very fortunate, very lucky and very privileged to be that person.

"The treatment itself didn't take long at all. It is only a minute. They are only delivering the protons 30 seconds each side of you.

"Typically I would arrive at the Rutherford Cancer Centre at about 8.45 in the morning and then there are a couple of things you've got to do - you've got to drink water and change.

"And then you're on the machine and they do real-time scanning every day and then treat you.

"Then you hop off the machine and go and get changed and go home or go back to work, business as usual."

He added: "That's one of the reasons for opting for this treatment is the minimal side effects and you'd be able to carry on your normal life."

The Rutherford Cancer Centre is the only clinic in the UK where high-energy proton beam therapy is currently available.

Dr Jason Lester, the consultant oncologist who treated Mr Hardacre, said: "Treating the first person in the UK with high-energy proton beam therapy is a significant event, and it opens up a new frontier for treatment in the UK.

"In the case of Mr Hardacre, we feel really positive about the way he coped with treatment.

"He will need regular check-ups in order to monitor his progress, and it was great to see him benefit from having treatment so close to home with minimal disruption to his daily life.

"We hope Mr Hardacre is the first of many to see the benefits from proton beam therapy treatment here in the UK."

Treatment at the Rutherford Cancer Centres is available to patients who self-fund and insured patients.