Mobile device used to issue radiotherapy

Man having radiotherapy

Radiotherapy has been issued using a mobile device for the first time during surgery in the UK. 

A 58-year-old patient from Southampton was the first to benefit from the device during bowel cancer surgery. 

Targeted treatment

The man had completed a combination of conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy in August. 

But this week, he underwent surgery at Southampton General Hospital, where a full dose of radiotherapy was delivered in theatre. 

This was done using Mobetron, the first portable system that can administer electron beam radiotherapy (IOERT) during surgery. 

He was given an intensive form of targeted radiation to treat a variety of advanced cancers that can be hard to remove or treat. The radiotherapy is issued through precise, high-energy electron beams to specific locations inside the body immediately after a cancer has been removed. 

This allows surgeons and oncologists to deliver higher doses than was previously possible. The device can be used to target areas at a high risk of recurrence, without causing damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs.

More focused than standard treatment

Standard treatment involves a machine manually programmed to target the area of a tumour instead of the cancer alone. 

This means that doctors have to limit doses to protect the surrounding structures. 

Surgeon Neil Pearce describes the new device as a “significant moment” in the treatment of advanced cancer in the UK. 

He says the technology is a “safe and effective” standard of care in the treatment of complex cancers. 

Mobetron, which is just an eighth the size of a standard machine, can be easily moved between theatres, hopefully providing treatment to several patients a day.


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