Parliament discusses patients travelling for proton beam therapy
Posted on 19th September 2014 by PB Consulting in Lobbying
The number of patients traveling abroad to receive proton beam therapy in the last 5 years has been published by the Government. In response to a question by Tessa Munt, Member of Parliament for Wells, Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, published the figures below that show the number of patients funded for the treatment increasing from 20 to 124 in the last five years.
|2009-10||8||12||20||France, USA and Switzerland|
|2010-11||30||20||50||USA (38 patients) and Switzerland (12)|
|2011-12||66||13||79||USA (majority of patients) and Switzerland|
|2012-13||83||16||99||USA (majority of patients) and Switzerland|
|1 Figure includes treatments given and treatments due to be given following approval.|
Proton treatment works by targeting radiation in a range of beams from different directions at a tumour, leaving healthy tissue surrounding the tumour unharmed. There are several countries that offer this therapy but the majority of the patients from the UK have travelled to the USA. While it is currently unavailable on the NHS, from 2018 it will be available to patients across the country at University College London Hospital and The Christie in Manchester.
We would like to thank Tessa Munt MP for her question and raising the issue of access to proton therapy treatments up the political agenda. As the recent Ashya King story has reminded us, all families want the best treatment for their loved ones and are willing to travel vast distances to secure it. We believe more funding should be guaranteed so that new treatments such as proton beam therapy are both created and available in the UK.
You can sign our epetition calling for government to act on brain tumours at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378