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The New INTRABEAM Mobile Intraoperative Radiotherapy System For Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Surgery may be a treatment option in some cases of pancreatic cancer. This article discusses the new INTRABEAM mobile intraoperative radiotherapy system for pancreatic cancer surgery.

For cancer affecting pancreatic glands, the medical treatment option is often to go for surgery. Other methods, like prescribing medications, do not deliver the desired results. Hence, removing the affected parts of the pancreas is the best and most effective choice. However, the next hurdle is that the affected areas are not yet ready for removal or in medical terminology, surgical resection. Under such circumstances, the approach taken by the doctors is towards shrinking the affected parts of the organ – in this case, the Pancreas – and thereafter finds ways and means of eliminating the affected parts of the organ. This removal need not mean the entire organ but there may be possibilities of removing just the affected part of the organ.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the commonest malignancies with poor prognosis. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. Surgery is one of the important treatment approaches. However, there is a low rate of radical excision and postoperative recurrence is high, with local recurrence being more than 50%.1

Hence, it is necessary to understand the use of intraoperative radiotherapy using the INTRABEAM radiation system in pancreatic cancer.

The New INTRABEAM Mobile Intraoperative Radiotherapy System For Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

The New INTRABEAM Mobile Intraoperative Radiotherapy System For Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Neoadjuvant Therapy needs to be understood a little more clearly before discussing the actual INTRABEAM mobile intra-operative radiotherapy system for pancreatic cancer surgery since this term is very often mentioned in the medical posts on cancer treatments.

This branch of treatment is undertaken on patients who do have pancreatic cancer but they are not yet ready for the surgical process. This therapy involves radiation therapy, in which the cancerous growth is shrunk for the ease of the surgical process. After Neoadjuvant Therapy has delivered its results the next step is the actual INTRABEAM System.

The therapy is available to the surgeons working on pancreatic cancer patients in removing the tumors where the need is felt for the new method of treatment. It can be done as a sub-process of the main surgery and as the name indicates this method can be done while the patient is under anesthesia during the main operation.

During the surgery for pancreatic cancer, the surgeon has the choice of using this INTRABEAM mobile radiation system for delivering a meticulously measured and controlled radiation dosage directly to the site of the pancreas where resection is targeted. With the very precise, calculated and controlled delivery of radiation to the desired area, the nearby area is not affected by the radiation which is of great value in surgery.1

While Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) has been around for some time, the best thing about this INTRABEAM mobile irradiation therapy is found in its delivering the radiation on a very weak electrical current. Unlike other radiation therapies, this method works on a comparatively much weaker current. This method has been found especially very effective for localized Pancreas cancer. Further, since the radiation is much weaker than the conventional method the side effects are greatly contained and in some cases eliminated.

The new INTRABEAM radiotherapy is an intraoperative system. The working of this new method starts with converting electricity into X-ray of low-energy which does comparatively less harm (and consequently is also less intense) to the surrounding area. The delivery of the treatment with low-intensity radiation is done through the use of a very specially designed ‘spherical’ applicator. It enables much closer control of it just the application area but also avoiding the nearby areas. With these specially designed spherical applicators, it gets ensured that direct contact is established between the targeted tissues and the radiation beams. This kind of direct contact facilitates a total control on the extent of coverage and intensity as far as targeted tissues are concerned. It ensures that the tumor site gets irradiated for several minutes during the time the patient is kept under anesthesia-related to surgery.

Therefore it is found that this new method delivers a considerable amount of neoadjuvant effect which is of great significance in pancreatic cancer surgery. Studies have reported that it is safe to use the new INTRABEAM mobile intraoperative radiotherapy system for pancreatic cancer surgery, with faster recovery.1

However, this process is comparatively new and the skill and competence for deriving the most optimum benefits are still evolving. With the pilot reports that are coming up, this new INTRABEAM seems to be revolutionizing the surgical processes especially the ones related to cancer of the pancreas.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 2, 2021

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