An appeal to keep a ‘life-saving’ cancer-fighting machine in Southampton has raised enough to keep it in the city temporarily - but more is needed to secure its long term future.

The machine, which delivers Intra Operative Electron Beam Radiotherapy (IOERT) treats a range of cancers and was scheduled to go back to America in January.

But thanks to the generosity of donators who raised £50,000, it will stay in Southampton University Hospital until June 2021.

Due to the coronoavirus pandemic, Cancer charity PLANETS said it cannot afford to keep up the £10,000 a month lease purchase agreement so they are appealing to the public and over £4,000 of the campaign's £250,000 target has been raised so far.

CEO of PLANETS, Layla Stephen said: "The acts of generosity have been overwhelming and we want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us, no matter how large or small your donation.

“The fact is though, with future fundraising looking uncertain because of the pandemic, our initial appeal for £250,000 has to go on. "This would help to ensure the IOERT machine stayed at UHS for the remainder of its useful life – easily 10+ years.”

The machine administers high dose radiotherapy in just one sitting during surgery as opposed to conventional radiotherapy which is administered over six to seven weeks.

In Southampton the machine has been has mainly been used for bowel, pancreatic and head and neck cancers.

The team at UHS has found that the machine leads to a 50% improved disease-free survival in advanced colorectal cancer and a 33% improved overall survival with no significant increase in complications.

Ms Stephen said: “These machines are found all across the world and they are standard practice in America and Europe and yet in the UK we just have the one, which makes it even more imperative that we do all we can to make sure it stays here.”

Donations can be made here.