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Mace oversees installation of UK's first high-energy cyclotron in Manchester

Mace and Christie’s Hospital Trust in Manchester marked a major milestone for cancer treatment in the UK last week, with the successful crane lift of the UK’s first beam-generating cyclotron. 

Nicknamed ‘Emmeline’, the cyclotron – the size of a family car but weighing in at 90 tonnes – was lifted into place last Thursday by the team who are building the Christie Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre in Manchester. ‘Emmeline’ is only the 14th cyclotron machine to be built anywhere in the world. It will sit in a bunker reinforced with 270 timber, steel and concrete posts.

Mace was appointed to project manage the Christie Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre scheme in 2014. The complex lift of the cyclotron marks a major milestone in the build of the centre, which is due to open and begin treating patients in August 2018.

The centre will be the UK’s first PBT facility, and will allow up to 750 patients a year from the UK to receive the cutting-edge cancer treatment without having to fly to America or Switzerland. PBT therapy is a type of radio-therapy that targets certain cancers very precisely and has a lesser impact on the surrounding tissue than other similar treatments. 

Jonathan Tucker, Mace's Project Director, said:

“This marks a big step forward for cancer treatment in Britain, and obviously Mace is very proud to be part of a project that will make such a big difference to so many people. The installation of the cyclotron is one of the most complex technical elements of the build – with this complete we’re now able to focus on deliv-ering the rest of the scheme in time for the opening next year.” 

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

“This new facility is another crucial step forward in beating this disease, and to have it here in Greater Manchester is just fantastic. At the moment, people have to travel abroad to receive this type of therapy, but soon it will be available closer to home. This will make a huge difference to people receiving treatment, and their loved ones.”

Roger Spencers, Chief Executive of The Christie, said: 

 “To be able to offer the world’s most advanced form of radiotherapy through the NHS in the UK is a real step change for patients, ensuring they benefit from local access to this advanced form of treatment, with potentially better outcomes and less chance of long term side effects.

"The arrival of the cyclotron is a huge milestone for the proton beam therapy project and brings us closer to the ultimate goal of being able to offer this treatment to patients next year.”

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