The Christie: Proton beam therapy cancer centre construction starts

Artist's impression of proton beam therapy unit Image copyright Christie Hospital
Image caption Work is beginning on the proton beam therapy unit at Manchester's Christie Hospital

Work to build a proton beam therapy unit at Manchester's Christie Hospital is to get under way.

Many cancer patients currently have to travel abroad for the treatment, which uses a high-energy beam of protons to destroy cancerous cells.

A ceremony will take place later to mark the start of building work, which is set to be completed in 2018.

Manchester and University College London were selected in 2012 as the two NHS centres for the new treatment.

The five-storey Christie building, on Oak Road in Withington, includes space for hi-tech radiotherapy equipment as well as rooms for treating patients.

It is hoped the new centre will treat up to 750 people a year and employ about 160 staff.

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