Prince Charles opens groundbreaking cancer therapy centre in Camden

Prince Charles with UCLH and Macmillan staff as he visits a new Proton Beam Therapy Centre in Camden

Prince Charles with UCLH and Macmillan staff as he visits a new Proton Beam Therapy Centre in Camden - Credit: Macmillan

Prince Charles praised the NHS for withstanding the "pressure" of the pandemic as he opened a revolutionary new cancer centre in Camden.

The Proton Beam Therapy Centre (PBT) was officially opened by Prince of Wales, at the University College London Hospital (UCLH) in Warren Street, one of only two in the country. 

Prince Charles is patron of Macmillan Cancer Support which has invested more than £645,000 into a Living Room for the centre. 

As he met staff on his visit on March 2 he said: "I so well understand how much pressure you have been under the last two years and quite how you withstood it I don't know.

"It's a great tribute to your professionalism and resilience that this has been possible and all of us who rely and depend on all your skills, we cannot thank you ever enough."

Proton Beam Therapy is a type of radiotherapy which can target tumours with millimetre accuracy, sparing the impact on the surrounding healthy tissue and therefore increasing the rate of cure and reducing side effects.

Around a third of the patients treated are children and teenagers and, as the PBT treatment course takes around six weeks, most will be staying in nearby accommodation and visiting the centre as outpatients each day.

Prince Charles meets UCLH staff on a visit to one of only two cancer therapy centres in the UK

Prince Charles meets UCLH staff on a visit to one of only two cancer therapy centres in the UK - Credit: Macmillan

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Macmillan has funded a specialist radiographer and two support workers for the new PBT centre.

The charity said it wanted to create a space in The Living Room that was separate from the treatment floor, where patients can access support and information and feel as comfortable as possible.

The room is a welcoming "hub" for families and friends to meet, discuss, reflect and support each other in a calm and relaxing environment.

Macmillan’s chief operating officer, Simon Phillips, said: “We’re really proud to be helping UCLH deliver such pioneering state-of-the-art treatment. This PBT centre is one of only two NHS centres in England that has this innovative equipment. The Christie in Manchester catered largely for patients in the north but now patients in the south can benefit from local access to this advanced treatment, with potentially better outcomes and a lower risk of long-term side effects.”