New radical radiotherapy treatment for Prostate Cancer
Daisy Scott, Online Deputy Editor, discusses the clinical trial of a new radial radiotherapy that could dramatically reduce the number of treatments required for prostate cancer.
A clinical trial, led by Queens University Belfast has shown that men with prostate cancer could benefit from “radical radiotherapy” which would reduce the number of treatments required from 20 to just five.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men with more than 52,000 men diagnosed with it each year – that’s 143 men each day receiving the diagnosis. It is often treated using chemotherapy, however radiotherapy can also be used. Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to treat cancer with the aim of curing or controlling for many years. With radiotherapy, doctors also hope to cause as little harm as possible to healthy tissues and surrounding organs.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men with more than 52,000 men diagnosed with it each year – that’s 143 men each day.
This new study, a “SPORT trial” (a study evaluating stereotactic prostate radiotherapy in high-risk localised prostate cancer), is the first of its kind to be carried out in the UK. The study consisted of 30 men from Northern Ireland being treated with “SABR” (Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy). This type of radiotherapy is highly accurate, can reduce tumours and allowed the men to have their full treatment course in only five hospital visits rather than the usual 20.
Type of radiotherapy is highly accurate and allowed the men to have their full treatment course in only five hospital visits.
The reduction in the required number of treatments has also been found to be more efficient and cost-effective for busy NHS radiotherapy departments.
The clinical trial lead, Professor Suneil Jain, Clinical Professor from the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research (PGJCCR) at Queens University Belfast has said “We are very excited by these results. The SPORT trial has proven this large reduction in treatments with advanced radiotherapy is feasible in patients with high-risk prostate cancer. Our hope is that in the future, men with high-risk prostate cancer will require only five treatments of radiotherapy with SABR, whilst minimising the risk of life-altering side effects.”
To date, friends of the cancer centre has invested nearly three million pounds into local research, pledging a further one million pounds over the next three years.
There is now a larger, more extensive clinical trial in men with prostate cancer across the whole of the UK is currently underway.