Working with Rutherford Cancer Centres South Wales | North East | Thames Valley | North West

The Rutherford Cancer Centres are the UK's only network of proton beam therapy centres.

About us

Rutherford has four cancer centres within its network; located in South Wales, North East, Thames Valley and the North West. The centres offer radiotherapy, chemotherapy, diagnostics, and supportive care services. With three offering proton beam therapy, and the North West coming on stream in the near future to accompany their MRI Linac (which will launch in early 2021).

All centres are fully equipped with IBA Proteus One with on board imaging, pencil beam scanning and 230 MeV protons. In addition, each centre has a Versa HD Elekta LINAC, and a chemotherapy suite, together with full imaging capabilities, with additional Ultra Sound Services at South Wales and Thames Valley.

The North East centre has a one stop breast screening clinic, with plans for other one stop clinics in discussion at the other centres, including Urological clinics.

International patients

Rutherford has the capabilities and processes in place to receive international patients to be treated at any of our centres, and are actively growing this area of the business to help oncologists receive patient referrals from overseas and grow their profile internationally.


Through the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), Rutherford has trained a large number of Consultant Clinical Oncologists in the use of protons.

Our patient referral pathway follows a thorough process to assess the suitability of proton beam therapy for patients. Each case which is passed for proton therapy is then reviewed before treatment by our educational partner Penn Medicine in Philidelphia.

What our patients say

Steps have been put in place to protect patients & staff from the virus and not once have I felt compromised - Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales
All the staff were fabulous. First class treatment and care was given on each visit - Rutherford Cancer Centre North East

Proton Beam Therapy

The physical properties of protons allows more precise control over where the radiation dose is delivered within the patient, enabling an overall decrease in integral dose, and in many cases dose reduction to organs at risk (OARs) offering a potential reduction in toxicity. These lower OAR doses are achieved while maintaining or improving tumour dose and tumour control and in some cases can help to reduce side-effects sometimes associated with conventional radiotherapy. Proton beam therapy can also be used to treat secondary cancers.

With over 100,000 patients treated globally at proton centres working with our partners IBA, some cases have demonstrated better quality of life during and after treatment, and fewer radiation-induced cancers than with conventional radiotherapy. Comparable scans display cases where both proton and photon radiation were considered for treatment.

Rutherford welcome you to join their network

If you decide to join the Rutherford Cancer Centres you shall become a part of the Rutherford Oncology Network, and shall be introduced to the Rutherford Buddy System, where you will be paired with one of our trained proton beam therapy oncologists to be your support. Our services are planned and delivered in line with requirements of healthcare regulators, professional bodies and national and international best practice. This means that we have policies and processes in place to ensure the quality and safety of service. To become a part of the Rutherford the below processes must completed:

  • Practising Privileges (PPs) - Every new clinician joining us must complete their practicing privileges paperwork in order to treat and refer to our centres (PPs are required at each individual centre).

Paperwork is sent via the centre team, and you shall have help, guidance and support should you need anything during the completion.

Proton Beam Therapy Training

Our comprehensive training program is delivered by the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine). If you wish to expand your practice, and offer your patients treatment via proton, you need to complete the training process successfully, which involves:

  • 32 hours online tuition
  • Online multiple-choice examination
  • Virtual training program - Pre-covid a visit to join the relevant tumour type team in the Roberts Proton Therapy Center in Philadelphia would be organised, however due to Covid restrictions, we have worked hard with our partners to transform the course to be accessible virtually, ensuring we can effectively continue to train during these unforeseen times. This has been discussed in depth with our team, our consultants, and signed off at our MAC board, as well as with Penn Medicine.

The flexibility of this training program means this can be worked around your practice and other commitments, without the need to book time off.

The flexible training program is bespoke and tailored to your interest and body site specific, with recorded sessions (to be completed at your convenience), fixed chart sessions and flexible live sessions, times to be agreed with you. Each individual program shall be finalised on choices to be indicated and decided by yourself.

Rutherford Health plc will cover the costs of training, which is of course is fully recognised for CPD purposes.