TREATMENT for cancer patients has taken a huge leap forward following the opening of a new centre.

Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley has formally opened its doors and will offer high energy proton beam therapy to patients as part of a wide range of treatments.

Proton beam therapy treatment will be available in the Thames Valley Centre in the second half of 2019.

Mike Moran, CEO of Proton Partners International, said: “We are delighted to open our third Rutherford Cancer Centre in Reading and bring the most advanced cancer care to those in the South East.

"It is gratifying to see the speed at which each centre has been established, and our ultimate aim is to have a Rutherford Cancer Centre within 90 minutes of 75 per cent of the UK population within the next three years.

“Reading is not only a dynamic city with a thriving healthcare and biotech scene, but one which is excellently located for patients to travel from Heathrow or other travel hubs.

"We see our Thames Valley centre as a gateway to proton beam therapy treatment, both for the UK as a whole and for patients from abroad.”

Patients who require the proton beam service will be assessed at the Thames Valley centre and can access therapy in Wales in the interim.

The facility in Newport was the first clinic in the UK to treat a patient with high energy proton beam therapy in April this year.

Since then, the centre has seen increasing demand for the treatment, which previously could only be accessed by travelling to the USA or parts Europe.

Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical officer of Proton Partners International, added: “We could not be happier about the opening of our third centre as we move further towards our goal of offering proton beam therapy to everyone in the UK who needs it.

"While proton beam therapy cannot treat every cancer, it is proven to be a highly effective treatment and one which has potential to drastically change lives for the better.”