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Imperial College London and Imperial Consultants sign partnership agreement with City Proton

The partnership was signed last week at Imperial with representatives from Imperial’s research team, City Proton including Ken Anderson, Chairman, Imperial Consultants and Imperial Innovations, as well as Professor James Stirling, Provost of Imperial College London.

Now, researchers from the Department of Physics at Imperial College London are partnering with proton beam company City Proton to work together on a new £11.7 million collaborative programme to investigate and improve proton beam technology for the treatment of cancers. The team will work through Imperial Consultants (ICON) in the first two years of the agreement.

Dr Alistair McDermott, CEO Imperial Consultants (ICON):

This is a great example of how Imperial’s scientific expertise is working in partnership with industry to solve the technical challenges of developing London’s first Proton Therapy Centre.

Dr Alistair McDermott
CEO – Imperial Consultants (ICON)


Proton beam treatment for cancer

Proton beams are used for treating certain cancers, and are being extensively studied as possible alternatives to traditional radiation therapy for a wide variety of cancers and City Proton are currently constructing London’s first proton beam treatment centre.

The research team will investigate the properties of the proton beam, how the energy of the beam is distributed in biological samples, and how to most effectively target the beam for treatment. This could form a better understanding of whether PBT offers an improvement on traditional radiotherapy treatment.


London’s first Proton Therapy Centre

City Proton are currently constructing London’s first proton beam treatment centre. The centre is due to open in late 2018/early 2019, when twelve years of collaboration will begin, including consultancy and collaborative research.

This will be the first high-energy Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) facility in the UK. There are over fifty such facilities in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world. Leading the research collaboration from Imperial are Professor Jordan Nash, Head of the Department of Physics, and Professor Mark Glaser, Visiting Professor in the Department of Physics.

Professor Glaser will work through Imperial Consultants (ICON) in the first two years of the agreement to help get the centre up and running including the setting up of necessary protocols, identifying and recruitment of key oncologist and clinical staff to the new research centre, defining clinical and physics requirements of PBT equipment, setting up of City Proton’s advisory board and manage relationships with overseas institutions.


Professor Mark Glaser, Visiting Professor in the Department of Physics:

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.

Professor Mark Glaser
Visiting Professor – Department of Physics, Imperial College London


Engaging Imperial’s expertise to improve patient care

The new centre will allow researchers to develop the next generation of devices, potentially leading to a reduction in the cost of treatment and wider adoption of this technology.

Professor Stirling, Provost, Imperial College London:

At Imperial we realise that no university – particularly one such as ours which focusses on science, engineering, medicine and business – can achieve excellence or realise the full benefits of its work by itself.

We have to partner with institutions with a similar aspiration for excellence as ourselves, and with a similar focus on addressing the great challenges facing the world today. The collaboration with City Proton aligns with Imperial’s key strategic priorities of fundamental discovery science, health and wellbeing.

Professor James Stirling
Provost – Imperial College London


Related resources:


Additional information:

Any intellectual property arising from the research will be commercialised by Imperial Innovations, the College’s technology commercialisation partner.

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