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1 June 2016

Imperial College beams $17m partnership

Following the opening of the UK's first proton beam treatment centre in 2018 or 2019, Imperial College London and the centre will commence a $17m research partnership.

Author: Mark Chatterley, reporter

Imperial College London has entered into a £11.7m ($17m) research partnership with City Proton, a company building the UK's first proton beam treatment centre, to investigate and improve the technology.

Dedicated researchers from the university's physics department will gain access to the proton beam treatment centre's facilities. Together with the centre they will investigate the technology with the aim of reducing the cost and increasing its effectiveness.

Currently, proton beam therapy is used in the treatment of certain cancers and is being studied for its potential use as an alternative to traditional radiation therapy.

The centre is expected to open late in 2018 or early 2019 at which point the collaboration between the two organisations will begin. The partnership will last 12 years.

Intellectual property emerging from the collaboration will be commercialised through Imperial Innovations, Imperial College London's commercialisation partner.

Jordan Nash, head of the department of physics at Imperial College London, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the department to bring together our teams, who design the most advanced accelerators, with experts on using proton beams for cancer treatment in order to guide the development of future more flexible and potentially smaller treatment accelerators.”

Mark Glaser, visiting professor in the department of physics, said: “We aim to create a facility of academic excellence, providing in-depth study of proton therapy to improve the technology and ultimately to discover what the optimal particle therapy for cancer is.”

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