Breakthrough prostate cancer: new treatment to search and destroy tumors & # 39; could avoid the need for chemotherapy and extend the lives of thousands of patients
- Breakthrough PSMA radiotherapy treatment is now privately available in the UK
- American Society of Clinical Oncology experts said that treatment offers hope
- Considered the most promising new treatment for prostate cancer in 15 years, it would benefit at least 5,000 men a year if available on the NHS
A radical & # 39; seek and destroy & # 39; treatment can prolong the lives of thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer.
The approach – described by experts as & # 39; game changing & # 39; – uses high-tech molecules to detect tumors everywhere in the body and destroy them with a radioactive charge.
The breakthrough of the & # 39; PSMA & # 39; Radiotherapy treatment first became available privately in Britain last week – with two men already being treated.
Thousands of others are expected to benefit as global trials coming back with positive results, which are the key to NHS approval.
The breakthrough of the & # 39; PSMA & # 39; radiotherapy was made privately available in Britain for the first time last week – with two men already being treated
Experts at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Congress in Chicago said the treatment offered hope for men for whom all other options were gone. Without this, they are simply referred for end-of-life palliative care.
Considered the most promising new treatment for prostate cancer in 15 years, it would benefit at least 5,000 men a year, if made available on the NHS.
The Australian oncologist Arun Azad, who is testing the treatment on 200 men in one of the ten trials taking place around the world, said: “It is possibly a game that is changing.
& # 39; If the results are positive, this really changes the landscape of how we treat prostate cancer. & # 39;
Man, 77, who was the first prostate cancer patient in the UK to receive the & # 39; seek and destroy & # 39; treatment, calls it & # 39; fantastic & # 39;
When Hans Schaupp was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer seven years ago, he was determined to continue life to the full.
& # 39; I'm still working and running my business & # 39 ;, said the 77-year-old who owns an equestrian sport that he runs from his home at Liphook, Hampshire.
Hans Schaupp, 77, was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer seven years ago
Just over a week ago, Mr. Schaupp, left, became the first person in the UK to be treated with the "seek and destroy" radiotherapy treatment called PSMA.
& # 39; It was fantastic & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; Because it is targeted, it makes so much more sense. Instead of poisoning your entire body with chemotherapy, it goes straight to the tumors. I feel absolutely perfect. No side effects, nothing. & # 39;
Schaupp, whose treatment is funded in part by his BUPA insurance, said: “If it works, then it's great. It really is a fantastic treatment and it is wonderful that it is now available here. & # 39;
Dr. Azad, associate professor at the Peter Mac Cancer Center in Melbourne, said that about half of the 10,000 men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in the UK could benefit from treatment every year.
And ultimately he wants to give it to patients at an earlier stage of the disease – potentially opening it up to thousands of other men.
The Daily Mail campaigns for an urgent improvement of treatments and diagnosis of prostate cancer, which are still years behind other diseases such as breast cancer. Despite the rapid progress in other types of cancer, which have resulted in falling mortality rates, the prostate figure is rising, with 11,800 men in the UK dying every year from the disease.
About 15,000 men with prostate cancer receive traditional radiotherapy every year. But that type of radiotherapy is only used for early, low-risk diseases – when the cancer is still limited to the prostate – and it has serious side effects because it also radiates healthy tissue.
Once the cancer has left the prostate, it spreads throughout the body, making it impossible to treat with external radiation.
The new treatment focuses on a protein on the surface of prostate cancer cells, called PSMA, or & # 39; prostate-specific membrane antigen & # 39 ;.
The treatment contains a molecule, known as PSMA-617, that seeks out and binds PSMA. The molecule also has a & # 39; payload & # 39; – a nuclear isotope called Lutetium-177 – which provides a powerful explosion of radiotherapy.
It is crucial that radiotherapy only covers 1 mm – so that only prostate cells are damaged and healthy tissue is saved.
Professor Johann de Bono from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, who is co-leader of another study on PSMA radiotherapy, said: “It's a big problem. It is one of the following great things. & # 39;
A pilot study of 50 men in Australia has shown that the treatment extends the life expectancy of men with advanced prostate cancer from nine months to an average of 13.3 months. But one fifth of the patients responded very well – and still lived after 33 months.
Paul Villanti, from the Movember Cancer Foundation, who finances several studies, said: & PSMA is one of the most exciting areas in prostate cancer research. It gives us the opportunity to find and destroy cancer. & # 39;
The Australian Genesis Care has started offering treatment at its clinic in Windsor. Most men receive between two and six treatments, spread out every six weeks. Individually it costs from £ 12,000 to £ 13,000 per treatment.
Thousands of others are expected to benefit as global trials coming back with positive results, which are the key to NHS approval. Stock photo
Early use of hormone medicine improves the chances of survival of men with aggressive prostate cancer and can reduce deaths from the disease by almost a third
Early use of an advanced hormone drug dramatically improves the chances of survival of men with aggressive prostate cancer, a study has found.
Taking enzalutamide shortly after diagnosis reduces the risk of death within three years, according to the data presented at the world's largest cancer conference yesterday.
The treatment – taken as four daily pills – is already available on the NHS for men with advanced prostate cancer, but only after they no longer respond to standard hormone injections.
The new study found that giving the £ 33,000-a-year drug at the same time as the injections – instead of waiting for them to fail – slowed tumor progression and reduced mortality rates by nearly a third.
Up to 10,000 men with terminal cancer could benefit from early access to treatment in the UK every year. It may also postpone the need to endure chemotherapy.
During the presentation of the data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, Professor Ian Davis of Monash University in Australia said: “The survival benefit is considerably greater if you give it early, then it is on track. You get much more for your money. & # 39;
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concerned 1,125 patients with advanced prostate cancer. Researchers found the chance of dying within three years 20 percent if given enzalutamide in addition to standard treatment.
But for those who only received standard treatment, the risk of death was 28 percent.
Enzalutamide works by preventing testosterone – which promotes cancer growth – from being absorbed by tumors. It is sold by Astellas under the brand name Xtandi.
Dr. Matthew Hobbs of Prostate Cancer UK said: & # 39; This is a positive test that demonstrates the benefit of giving enzalutamide in advance to men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
& # 39; Enzalutamide is now the third treatment option in four years that is expected to have a significant impact on life expectancy when used in addition to hormone treatment.
& # 39; Some men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer cannot receive chemotherapy, we want another treatment option to become available to them. & # 39;
Prostate cancer affects around 47,000 men in the UK every year – killing 11,800.
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