James Weightman

Project Manager – Proton Therapy, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

James Weightman58th Annual Conference of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group 2019

James Weightman is an active member of Manchester’s Conference Ambassador Programme, having established a Local Organising Committee which successfully secured the rights to host a prestigious international congress on particle therapy in Manchester in 2019.

Worth £2.5m to Greater Manchester's economy, the 58th Annual Conference of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG 2019) will bring together more than 1,000 leading clinicians, physicists and other practitioners in particle therapy to share the latest clinical, scientific and industrial developments and showcase the latest technology.

Manchester's bid was presented to the PTCOG steering group at this year's conference in Prague. The bidding consortium included The Christie, UCLH, Marketing Manchester, Manchester Central, Kenes Group and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. The bid demonstrated extensive support including letters from the Secretary of State for Health, the Chief Executive of NHS England, the Royal College of Radiographers, CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), the National Physics Laboratory and Visit Britain.

Proton beam therapy is a particularly important form of cancer treatment as it targets complex and harder to reach tumours more precisely with less damage to surrounding tissues, which can lead to improving the quality of life for patients following treatment. The Christie will be opening the UK's first high energy proton beam therapy centre in 2018. This will be one of only two high energy NHS proton beam therapy centres, the other being built at UCLH.

Life sciences are one of the city region's key growth sectors and attracting high profile conferences in this field is a central part of Marketing Manchester's strategy. Manchester has Europe's largest clinical academic campus and is home to several medical research institutes; Europe's biggest cancer treatment centre and the largest clinical trials unit in the world.