Pioneering form of radiotherapy can cure prostate cancer for men previously thought inoperable, trials suggest

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A PIONEERING form of radiotherapy can cure prostate cancer for men previously thought inoperable, trials suggest.

More than seven in ten patients were still alive and cancer-free five years after receiving the new treatment in a British study.

 The radiotherapy used intensity modulated radiotherapy in the trials

The radiotherapy used intensity modulated radiotherapy in the trials
 More than seven in ten patients were still alive and cancer-free five years after receiving the treatment

Getty – Contributor
More than seven in ten patients were still alive and cancer-free five years after receiving the treatment

It helped eradicate the disease when targeting ­cancer cells that had spread from the original tumour to pelvic lymph nodes.

Radiotherapy near a prostate tumour was previously considered too risky because of the damage it can cause to the bowel.

But the intensity modulated radiotherapy technique allows doctors to give a high dose of radiation directly to cancer cells while protecting healthy tissue nearby.

This reduces nasty side-effects such as incontinence and bleeding.

The study involving 447 patients was led by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in West London. IMRT is now becoming standard at major cancer centres in the UK but is not available everywhere.

 David Dearnaley led the study which he called revolutionary

David Dearnaley led the study which he called revolutionary

Study leader David Dearnaley, of the ICR, said: “These long-term results demonstrate using IMRT to target the pelvic lymph nodes is safe and effective for men with prostate cancer.”

Dr Matthew Hobbs, of Prostate Cancer UK, welcomed the study as “promising” but said it needed wider testing.

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