Proton beam unit for Liverpool's £1bn Knowledge Quarter

A proton therapy machine Image copyright Proton Partners International
Image caption Proton beam therapy can be used to treat spinal cord tumours, sarcomas near the spine or brain

A £35m proton beam therapy cancer treatment centre is to be built as part of a £1bn development.

The privately-run facility will be next to a new Royal College of Physicians site in the Knowledge Quarter in Paddington near Liverpool city centre.

The Rutherford Cancer Centre North West could treat up to 700 patient a year, including NHS ones, from 2018.

NHS proton beam units are being built in Manchester and London to open in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Proton beam therapy

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Media captionAnimated graphic comparing traditional radiation treatment with proton beam therapy

It uses charged particles instead of X-rays to deliver radiotherapy for cancer patients.

The treatment allows high-energy protons to be targeted directly at a tumour, reducing the dose to surrounding tissues and organs.

In general, it gives fewer side effects compared with high-energy X-ray treatments.

It can be used to treat spinal cord tumours, sarcomas near the spine or brain, prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and some children's cancers.

Sources: NHS England, Cancer Research UK

The Rutherford Cancer Centre North West will also offer treatments including radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Knowledge Quarter Liverpool is a 450-acre district for science, health, technology, education, music and performing arts, Liverpool City Council said.

Developments will be located on Paddington Central and the first £1bn phase of the 30-acre Paddington Village also includes a base for Liverpool International College.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: "Momentum is really beginning to build for Knowledge Quarter Liverpool.

"We can expect more exciting announcements which will further cement its reputation as a world-leading innovation district, specialising in medical and life sciences research."

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