Local Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East James Duddridge Shines a Light on Radiotherapy, the Unsung Hero of Cancer Treatment

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East met with NHS providers and
patients at a briefing held in Parliament to learn about radiotherapy and the benefits it
can bring to cancer patients. Radiotherapy is a cost-effective and cutting-edge
treatment that forms a core part of the health care regime for many cancer patients.
Last year, more than 130,000 people with cancer in England had radiotherapy as part of
their treatment.

More than a third of NHS providers were represented at the event which was hosted by
Tim Farron MP in partnership with AdvaMed, the United States Advanced Medical
Technology Association. It included speeches from the Parliamentary Under Secretary
of State for Health, Steve Brine MP and eminent radiotherapy clinicians: Professor Neil
Burnet, Professor in Radiation Oncology, Cambridge University Hospitals; Professor
Ricky Sharma, Chair of Radiation Oncology, UCL; Professor Andrew Nisbet, Head of
Medical Physics, Royal Surrey County Hospital and Dr Alison Tree, Consultant Clinical
Oncologist, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS bodies across the UK have invested money to modernise radiotherapy equipment:

 23 NHS trusts in England have received new or upgraded radiotherapy
machines; a further 50 new machines will be installed as part of NHS England’s
£130 million investment.

 The UK Government has invested £250 million to build two proton beam therapy
centres in England. A third proton beam therapy centre is due to open in Wales.

 The Scottish Government regularly invests in the latest radiotherapy equipment
and recently committed a further £50m for new radiotherapy machines, software
and additional staff training over the next five years.

Although radiotherapy technology has rapidly advanced and investment has been made
in replacing outdated machines throughout the UK, there is still variation in patient
access across the country. Awareness of radiotherapy as a highly effective cancer
treatment is also low compared to another common option, chemotherapy. Patients
should be provided with comprehensive information on the benefits of radiotherapy and
its potential role in their treatment program, as well as given access to the latest
technology.

Josh Levine, Chair of AdvaMed’s Radiation Therapy Sector and President and CEO, Accuray, said:

“I’m delighted that James Duddridge was able to join us in Westminster for this event.
AdvaMed is committed to working in the UK and on a broader, global scale to expand
patient access to radiotherapy. We look forward to future engagement with
parliamentarians and NHS providers to ensure that for patients in the UK, this goal
becomes a reality.”

James Duddridge said:

“Southend Hospital has a strong cancer treatment unit, and I was therefore keen to find
out about how radiotherapy is used to help cancer patients. I welcome recent
investment in new machines for the NHS and I would like to thank AdvaMed for putting
on this event, and providing me with helpful information about Radiotherapy.”