TECH

Revolutionary Cancer-Fighting Radiotherapy Machine Trialled In UK Hospital For First Time

It can deliver powerful doses of radiotherapy but causes less damage.

13/06/2016 14:20 | Updated 13 June 2016

A revolutionary device called the Mobetron is being trialled in a UK hospital to help fight cancer.

The device delivers radiotherapy - one of the treatments pre- and post-surgery for cancer, but does so in a more effective way, with the least amount of damage to surrounding tissue and organs. 

The Mobetron is the first portable system able to administer the treatment in this way - known as intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) - and will start being used in operating theatres at Southampton General Hospital this month.

 

IntraOp Medical Corporation

Radiotherapy is used sometimes on its own, sometimes in conjunction with chemotherapy. It is used pre-surgery to shrink tumours, and post-surgery to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back. 

This particular treatment - IORT - is an intensive form of targeted radiation given at the time of surgery for a wide variety of advanced cancers that are difficult to remove and treat.

The radiation is given by high energy electron beams delivered with precision to a very specific location inside the body immediately after a cancer has been removed.

Press Association reported: "This enables surgeons and oncology specialists to deliver much higher doses of the anti-cancer treatment to areas at a high risk of recurrence without causing damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs seen with conventional external beam radiotherapy.

"The system, tested by experts at the National Physical Laboratory in London before being transported to Southampton, will be used initially to treat patients with pancreatic, neuroendocrine, colorectal and bladder tumours.

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 Surgeon Neil Pearce said: “This is a landmark moment for the treatment of advanced cancer in Southampton and across the UK."

Professor Peter Johnson, a consultant oncologist at UHS and head of cancer research in Southampton, said: “The practice of radiation oncology is undergoing a revolution, with new technology changing the way that cancer can be treated.

“This development is at the cutting edge of modern radiation oncology and it will be exciting to see how it can be used to help patients in Southampton.”

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