Christie Proton Beam Therapy Centre – Groundbreaking centre a UK ‘first’
The UK’s first NHS high energy proton beam therapy centre offering a more targeted way of destroying cancer cells, the immense new 12,000 sq m Christie Proton Beam Therapy Centre in Manchester aims to admit its first patients in August 2018.
The construction of the £125m Manchester centre was funded by the Department of Health and is one of only two high energy NHS proton beam therapy centres, the other being built at University College London Hospitals.
The five storey building in Manchester, constructed by Interserve on Oak Road, also provides additional clinical space to improve and enhance the services already provided by The Christie.
The building is accessed from Oak Road and linked to the main hospital through a new glazed walkway.
Conventional radiotherapy uses lower energy photon radiation to destroy cancerous cells, but surrounding tissue can also be damaged.
Proton beam therapy is a radically new type of radiotherapy. It has the potential to improve the precision and targeting of radiation therapy leading to fewer side effects, faster recovery and better outcomes for patients. It also has the potential to target radio-resistant hypoxic tumours and other tumours that are difficult to treat by more conventional means.
The treatment centre includes three 360 degree rotating gantry rooms as well a research room, CT and MRI-imaging facilities, a patient reception, consultation rooms and public space.
The building was constructed on a very constrained site in a live working hospital environment.
The scale of the project was immense, with a requirement for material and skills to deliver the monolithic pour of 17,000m3 of concrete and 1700 tonnes of reinforcement over 12 months, accommodating required thicknesses of between 4 and 6m.
The biggest single concrete pour on the site in the course of one day was 648m3, equivalent to 105 concrete wagons.
The new facilities will mean that up to 750 patients a year with complex cancers will have the opportunity to benefit from this treatment.