A “SEARCH and destroy” radioactive treatment could extend the lives of patients with incurable prostate cancer.
Early results show men with no other options could get more than two years’ extra life.
2 Doctors say the search and destroy treatment is the ‘next big thing’ for the diseaseCredit: Getty – Contributor
Medics described the tumour-targeting approach as “the next big thing” for the disease.
Two men with advanced prostate cancer last week became the first to get it in Britain.
It costs £12,000 a session privately, but experts say it could soon be available on the NHS.
Given as a drip, it lets medics deliver a “radioactive payload” directly to tumours without damaging surrounding tissue.
Hans Schaupp, 77, from Hants, received the treatment in a four-hour visit to a clinic last week.
He said: “Rather than poisoning your whole body with chemotherapy it goes straight to the tumours. I feel perfect. No side effects.”
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Average life expectancy for men with the advanced disease is nine months. But one in five in a trial with 50 patients got an extra 24 months.
Dr Arun Azad of Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is running a trial involving 200 participants. He said at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago: “If the results are positive it really will change the landscape.”
Around 47,000 men a year are diagnosed in the UK, and experts say 5,000 may benefit.
Drug breakthroughGIVING men with advanced prostate cancer a breakthrough drug early can slash their risk of dying young by a third.
Enzalutamide — taken as four daily pills — is already available on the NHS for those who stop responding to standard hormone therapy injections.
But a health watchdog has rejected the life- extending £33,000-a-year drug for early use, saying chemotherapy is as effective and cheaper.
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