UK to spend £250m on proton beam treatment despite no appraisal by NICE

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 10 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2627
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The NHS is to spend up to £250m (€303m; $396m) to build two centres for proton beam therapy for cancer, the health secretary announced on 5 April.

The machines, which deliver high energy beams of subatomic particles, will be built at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester and at University College Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust, and the Department of Health said they would benefit around 1500 patients a year.

The treatment is complex and costly, and will not be fully available in England until 2017. Until then, the NHS will continue to fund the treatment abroad of those deemed suitable, which includes some children …

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