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£4.8m investment for Velindre Cancer Centre

The Welsh Government is investing £4.8m in vital new equipment for Velindre Cancer Centre, it was announced today (Wednesday August 19).

The money will buy a new linear accelerator as a replacement for the oldest of the Cancer Centre’s seven machines. The new machine will offer advanced radiotherapy as well as the standard functions of a linear accelerator and will double Velindre’s capacity to deliver stereotactic radiotherapy treatment.

Stereotactic radiotherapy treatment is a modern, more precise way of delivering radiotherapy – high doses of radiation are delivered to tumours and the treatment causes less damage to surrounding healthy tissue than conventional radiotherapy.
Velindre Cancer Centre is routinely using stereotactic radiosurgery to treat patients who previously had to travel to Sheffield.

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said: “This investment means patients will be treated on machines using the latest technology to deliver safe, accessible and effective treatment. Importantly, it will mean Velindre will continue to treat patients in Wales who need stereotactic radiotherapy, rather than them having to travel to England.

“We have seen a growing demand for radiotherapy treatment at the centre – there has been an 8% increase in the number of courses of radiotherapy treatment in the last two years and a 10% increase in the number of attendances for treatment. This new machine will also improve reliability for patients and help the centre meet this demand.”

Peter Barrett-Lee, Medical Director of Velindre NHS Trust, said: “The ongoing Welsh Government investment in such radiotherapy equipment at Velindre Cancer Centre enables us to offer patients high quality services which are comparable with the very best in the UK and the rest of Europe.

“The new machine will be able to perform cutting-edge techniques which cannot be provided by the 9-year-old linear accelerator it will replace. It will increase our ability to deliver complex radiotherapy treatments according to each individual’s needs. It will also enable our patients to access the very best technology and cutting edge clinical trials, leading to improved outcomes.”

Velindre Cancer Care provides specialist cancer treatment to more than 1.5 million people across South and West Wales. Every year it treats more than 5,000 new patients and around 50,000 new outpatients.

The radiotherapy department currently has seven operational linear accelerators and this investment will replace the oldest one.

The latest all-Wales annual report for cancer shows more people are surviving cancer, even though more people in Wales are being diagnosed with the disease.

For more information please call the Welsh Government press office on 029 2089 8012.

Source: Velindre Cancer Centre