TWO private hospitals are due to open centres in Madrid as Spain joins a global race to adopt proton beam therapy, a form of cancer treatment hailed as a less aggressive alternative to the current X-ray radiation.
Children and patients with rare tumours will especially benefit from the treatment which has fewer side effects than conventional X-rays.
The first of the two hospitals is due to open in the last quarter of the year, and the second one in March 2020.
There are currently more than 20 proton treatment centres in Europe and 27 in America, with many more in the pipeline.
And some industry sources say the current global figure of around 60 could double in the next five years.