Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid has treated its first patient with Rhenium-SCT, a skin cancer treatment developed by German-based device company OncoBeta. 

Used to treat patients with non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), Rhenium-SCT is a single-session procedure where doctors apply a paste containing β-emitting particles directly onto the lesion to eliminate the cancer cells. Treatment time generally ranges from 45 to 180 minutes, with healing of the treated lesion area and the regeneration of healthy tissue usually occurring within a few weeks after treatment. 

The paste – utilising the radioisotope Rhenium-188 – is applied using OncoBeta’s specially designed application device, which enables the clinician to apply the Rhenium-SCT compound specifically to the area that requires treatment. The applicator consists of tested materials that ensure protection of the patient and physician, as per the company.  

NMSCs, which include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, are typically treated using surgical intervention. According to OncoBeta’s CCO Shannon Brown, Rhenium skin cancer therapy addresses many patients’ desire for a non-surgical alternative, so patients can continue with their lives with very little disruption after treatment.  

The treatment system has been investigated in several clinical trials including the global EPIC-Skin study (NCT05135052). The study enrolled over 200 patients across five countries and seven major cities including Gold Coast, London, Perth, Pretoria, Rostock, Sydney and Vienna. 

OncoBeta’s medical director Gerhard Dahlhoff said: “Rhenium-SCT allows for a targeted and non-invasive treatment of NMSCs without damaging adjacent healthy tissue. It offers a patient-friendly treatment alternative, and we are delighted to have another medical facility offering Rhenium-SCT to those suffering from NMSCs.” 

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As well as in the treatment space, medical devices are changing the paradigm of how skin cancer is diagnosed. In January 2024, the US Food and Drug Administration granted clearance to DermaSensor for its AI-powered skin cancer detection device. The technology is designed to offer primary care physicians a real-time, non-invasive tool to detect all common skin cancers including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.