United Kingdom: A new trial has found that men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer could be safely exposed to fewer radiotherapy sessions. The trial, conducted by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research in London, stated that radiotherapy doses can be cut by three-quarters. According to the analysis, five higher doses of radiotherapy are as effective as 20 smaller doses given over several weeks.
The Prostate Advances in Comparative Evidence study compared results from 874 patients in the UK, Ireland, and Canada who were assigned either a longer or shorter course of treatment.
The research team further noted that after five years, 96 percent of the men who received five doses of multibeam radiotherapy were cancer-free, compared to 95 percent who received at least 20 doses of standard radiotherapy.
Prof. Nicholas van As, the medical director of the Royal Marsden Hospital and the lead researcher of the study, commented that the results were “outstanding and fantastic for prostate cancer patients.”
Mr. van As observed that “standard radiation treatment is already highly effective and is very well tolerated in people with localized prostate cancer, but for a healthcare system and for patients to have this treatment delivered just as effectively in five days as opposed to four weeks is hugely significant.”
“To be able to sit with a patient and say, ‘We can treat you with a low-toxicity treatment in five days, and your chance of keeping the cancer at bay for five years is 96 percent’ is a very positive conversation to have,” the researcher added.
Prof. Emma Hall from the Institute of Cancer Research, who is managing the study, shared that the advances in radiotherapy were “fantastic”.
“This is a game-changer for patients, meaning they receive a highly effective cancer treatment while spending less time in the hospital and traveling to appointments. It’s another example of how the rapidly advancing field of radiotherapy can improve patients’ lives,” Prof. Hall added.