ADVANCED technology could cut treatment for prostate cancer from two months to one week.
A trial on 847 patients found those who were given five higher doses of radiation than normal for a week did not increase the side-effects.
Extra radiotherapy was found not to increase side-effects[/caption]
Study author Dr Douglas Brand, of The Institute of Cancer Research in London, said: “Men would get the same benefit while having to spend less time in hospital.
“The new results from our clinical trial have shown that a much shorter course of higher-dose radiotherapy does not increase short term side effects compared with the current standard of care.
“If the data on longer-term side effects and efficacy are also positive, we expect our trial could be practice-changing.
The technique — known as ultra-hypofractionated Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy, or SBRT — is also more precise in targeting tumours.
Better accuracy reduces the chance of damaging tissue which can lead to more frequent urination and diarrhoea.
Chief Investigator Dr Nicholas van As, consultant clinical oncologist at The Royal Marsden, said: “At The Royal Marsden and the ICR we are focused on developing smarter, better and kinder treatments for patients across the UK and internationally.
“Developments in radiotherapy such as SBRT mean we can target tumours much more effectively.
“It is reassuring to see from this trial that SBRT does not significantly impact patients’ quality of life in the short term, compared with the current standard of care.
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“Using SBRT to deliver this treatment would mean that patients could be spared numerous visits to hospital, allowing them to get back to their lives sooner.”
The research was presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting on Tuesday.
Earlier this week Sir Rod Stewart revealed that he had been treated for prostate cancer, and had beaten the disease.
The 74-year-old was diagnosed in February 2016 after a routine appointment and is now urging men to get check their prostates after going into remission this July.
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