By Tara Cunningham
28 MARCH 2016 • 7:03PM
Aim-listed Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) has begun testing its groundbreaking Light machine for the UK’s first proton beam therapy centre, in what is expected to be a cancer treatment milestone when it opens by the end of next year.
Proton beam therapy uses protons to pinpoint tumours more precisely, limiting collateral damage of radiation to other vital organs and offering patients higher disease-free survival rates.
In its latest update, the group said modules of the Light system had been constructed in Bayeux, France and were ready for initial testing and tuning. Once these tests have been carried out, the module, known as a “proton source” will be shipped to Geneva.
Meanwhile, modules which accelerates the protons to the speeds needed to effectively treat tumours are also ready for “high power testing”, Advanced Oncotherapy said.
The company is now on track to treat patients in its Harley Street site in London by the end of next year.
Chief executive Michael Sinclair said: “I am delighted that we remain on track and delivering to the timeline that we originally presented to shareholders in November 2014.”
Mr Sinclair hailed the LIGHT system as “a game changing type of proton therapy that will allow this specialist treatment to be available for cancer patients in a much more effective and affordable way.”
Two years ago, the treatment gained widespread attention after the parents of a five-year-old cancer sufferer, Ashya King, were put in prison after taking their son out of an NHS hospital and travelling to Europe to avail of proton therapy elsewhere.
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