Prostate cancer patients can be saved thanks to the protective hyrdogel side effects of radiotherapy
Thousands of prostate cancer patients can save the side effects of radiotherapy thanks to gel that protects organs from radiation
- A new gel can spare prostate cancer patients from the side effects of radiotherapy
- NHS bosses have approved the financing and 1,000 men will receive it in 2020
- The gel is injected before radiotherapy and offers cushion behind the prostate
- It reduces the radiation damage that goes through the prostate and other organs
- The gel also reduces side effects such as rectal pain, bleeding and diarrhea
Thousands of prostate cancer patients can save the side effects of radiotherapy thanks to a revolutionary gel that protects organs from radiation.
NHS bosses are so impressed with the “hydrogel” treatment that they have provided 1,000 men to receive it the following year.
The Daily Mail is campaigning for the urgent improvement of treatments and diagnosis of prostate cancer, which is years behind other diseases such as breast cancer.
About 15,000 men with prostate cancer receive radiotherapy every year – nearly a third of the 47,000 diagnosed in Britain every year.
Thousands of prostate cancer patients can save the side effects of radiotherapy thanks to a revolutionary gel that protects organs from radiation. The hydrogel is injected before treatment begins and provides a cushion behind the prostate during radiotherapy (stock image)
Radiotherapy is a very effective way to treat the cancer, especially if it is given at an early stage of the disease, when it permanently eradicates 60 percent of the tumors.
Because surrounding organs are emitted simultaneously, this can cause long-term side effects, including impotence and bowel problems.
The hydrogel – usually made from water – is injected before treatment begins and provides a cushion behind the prostate during radiotherapy.
This reduces the amount of radiation that the prostate can pass through and damage other organs, reducing the risk of life-changing side effects such as rectal pain, bleeding and diarrhea.
In studies, the gel has reduced side effects by more than 70 percent. The gel is then absorbed by the body and completely broken down after about six months.
Using the gel, doctors can also safely increase the dose of radiotherapy that they can give – increasing the chances of success.
Doctors believe that the treatment – which costs £ 4,500 in private – should be given to all men who receive radiotherapy.
But initially they say that two groups should be given priority – those who have failed radiotherapy in the past, and those with a prostate with a shape that makes it difficult to emit neighboring organs. These groups make up around 10 percent of radiotherapy patients – or 1500 per year.
The gel reduces the amount of radiation that passes through the prostate and damages other organs, reducing the risk of side effects such as rectal pain, bleeding and diarrhea. NHS chief Simon Stevens called it “a new step forward in world-class cancer care” (stock image)
Simon Stevens, CEO of the NHS, called the treatment “a new step forward in world-class cancer care.”
Professor Amit Bahl of Bristol University Hospitals, who has already used hydrogel treatment on 14 men, said: “New technology is important – it gives men the confidence that we are not only doing our best to treat the cancer, but also that we are protecting their quality of life in the long term. “
The use of the hydrogel is funded through a fast-track schedule for new treatments in the NHS, the so-called Innovation and Technology Payment.
This ensures that hospital confidence asks a company to provide the treatment and NHS England invoices centrally to reduce the administrative burden, which delays the introduction of so many treatments.
Heather Blake, of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Although radiotherapy is very effective in treating cancer, it can also cause side effects … we welcome all the proven innovations that help reduce it and are pleased that the NHS is taking action to ensure it that they reach men as quickly as possible. “