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Pioneering cancer treatment centre launches in North East

The site of the first Proton Beam Therapy cancer treatment centre to be built in England will be unveiled today in Northumberland.

The centre, which will be built in Bomarsund, Northumberland, will open in early 2017.

An artist's impression of the treatment centre to be built in Bomarsund, Northumberland Credit: Proton Partners International Ltd

Proton Beam Therapy is a type of radiotherapy, most often used to treat cancer. Protons are used to target cancerous cells, causing less damage to surrounding tissue than conventional radiotherapy.

The treatment is not currently available in the UK, leading to some patients travelling abroad in order to receive it.

It was the subject of widespread media coverage last year, when the parents of five-year-old Ashya King took him out of an NHS hospital to travel to Prague in order for him to receive the treatment.

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North Sea rowing challenge for cancer charities

Michael Tierney in the training pool at South Tyneside College Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A former North East soldier is planning to row across the North Sea to raise money for cancer charities, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Preparations for the 510-mile challenge Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Michael Tierney, from Low Fell in Gateshead, has been undergoing training at South Tyneside College's Marine Safety Training Centre.

Offshore weather conditions can be simulated at the Marine Safety Training Centre Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The technology allows different weather conditions to be simulated in the pool.

Wind, rain and waves can be created Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Michael took up the challenge in memory of his sister, Clare, who died of breast cancer.

He will be joined on the trip by a former army colleague, James Moloney.

The pair are planning to make the 510-mile journey from the Scottish Borders to Denmark in August - a crossing they believe has only previously been completed by the Vikings.

'Geordie cancer drug' could save thousands of lives

It's known as the Geordie cancer drug and has been hailed as one of the most important new medicines in cancer research.

Developed by scientists in Newcastle, Rucaparib is being tried on patients across the North East

It is one of many potential medications being tested at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

Our Health Correspondent Frances Read has this report.

Sir Bobby Robson Foundation tops £8 million mark

Sir Bobby Robson with Professor Ruth Plummer, Cancer Trials Research Centre Credit: Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has announced it has reached the £8 million pound mark.

The news comes on the seventh anniversary of the the charity, which funds research into clinical cancer trials.

Sir Bobby, who lost his battle with cancer in 2009, set-up the foundation with the aim of raising half a million pounds.

Sir Bobby speaking at the launch of the Foundation Credit: Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

The clinical trials, which take place at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, help cancer patients from across the North East and Cumbira

We’re absolutely thrilled by this new fundraising total. It’s incredible really. We had no idea how well-supported we would be when we launched in 2008. Bob would be stunned.

– Lady Elsie Robson, Sir Bobby's Widow

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Remembering Josie

Josie died in 2007

The parents of a Northumberland teenager, who died from leukaemia seven years ago, say they are proud of the legacy she leaves.

Today would have been Josie Grove's twenty fourth birthday.

After rigorous treatment in hospital, Josie eventually decided not to continue, and instead enjoy her final few months with her family.

Josie's memory lives on in a charity which she founded before her death. It has now given a quarter of million pounds to brightening the lives of other young people with cancer.

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