The History of Proton Therapy in England
The BBC released a new video on England’s recent investment and development of proton therapy in their country to care for their cancer patients. It demonstrates the scale and scope of these great facilities.
It is an impressive documentary that illustrates the complexity and massive scope of building a proton facility. There are reasons for the cost of the structures and therefore the lack of these types of treatment facilities. Even today there are less than 100 facilities in the world.
Connection to The Oklahoma Proton Center
For us at the Oklahoma Proton Center, through the great work of my predecessors here at the Oklahoma Proton Center, our center has treated over 300 families from England through a partnership with NHS (National Health Service). So we have a direct link to this project in the documentary. We were a major treatment facility used by the NHS to treat their cancer patients.
Back in around 2012 Dr. Sameer R. Keole, who now helps lead the Mayo Clinic Phoenix Proton facility, along with work of Dr. Andrew L. Chang who is currently at the California Proton Therapy Center; the Oklahoma Proton Center (Procure at the time) helped our facility to enter into an agreement with the NHS to provide proton therapy to cancer patients within the NHS system.
Over the 5 year period from 2012 – 2017, over 300 families from the UK were treated here in Oklahoma through the arrangement with the NHS.
We provided all-inclusive care including coordination of air travel, housing, primary care services etc for the families while they were in the US. It was a great program and I’m proud to be at a spot that helped serve those patients. We still have quite a few patients and families from that program who consistently return to visit us in Oklahoma City.
It’s an interesting documentary that hits much closer to home when you share so many stories and experiences. Special shout-out to Drs. Keole and Chang who were the physician leaders of the work done here in Oklahoma. And thanks to the staff here at the Oklahoma Proton Center who have helped care for so many people from all over the world at this wonderful facility.