Today's Times (22nd Oct 2018) contains the following about a trial that gave Radiotherapy to men with advanced PCa. The results give an increase in 3 and 5 year survival times stated as 'monumental' in the article but seeming more modest in my opinion. Also in my opinion it's seemed obvious that treating the main growth should slow the disease although more expert professionals say it doesn't or at least that the saving isn't worthwhile for perhaps the cost or quality of life for a short while. Whereas for the patient I'm sure a chance of more time is worth the treatment.
I'm not qualified to comment really, does anyone want to add more, express how much of a breakthrough they think this is and if it can be easily implemented.
Extract from the Times 22nd Oct 2018:
Thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer could have their lives extended thanks to a “monumental” breakthrough in treatment.
One of the largest clinical trials for the disease found that radiotherapy boosted survival rates by 11 per cent for men whose cancer had spread to nearby lymph nodes or bones.
The result is likely to change the care given to about 3,000 men every year in England alone and could benefit many more around the world.
Researchers found that treating the prostate with radiotherapy in men whose cancer was locally advanced boosted three-year survival rates to 81 per cent, compared with 73 per cent among those receiving standard care.
Chris Parker, lead researcher of the study based at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, said: “Our results show a powerful effect for certain men with advanced prostate cancer. These findings could and should change the standard of care worldwide.
“Until now, it was thought that there was no point in treating the prostate itself if the cancer had already spread, because it would be like shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted.
“However, this study proves the benefit of prostate radiotherapy for these men. Unlike many new drugs for cancer, radiotherapy is a simple, relatively cheap treatment that is readily available in most parts of the world.”
Radiotherapy to the primary tumour did not appear to help men whose cancer had spread further. Experts said the technique’s use would not need to go through the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), but would require approval from NHS England.
The trial, funded by Cancer Research UK, involved about 2,000 men with prostate cancer that had spread. Half were given standard treatment, typically hormone therapy, and half also received radiotherapy to the prostate.
The results were published yesterday in The Lancet, and presented at the Munich congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology.
Nicholas James, chief investigator of the trial from the University of Birmingham, said: “Although survival times are improving, no one with advanced prostate cancer is cured of their disease by hormone therapy alone.
“These important results move the dial significantly further in terms of what we can do for this large group of men. These results should change the standard of care for certain men with advanced prostate cancer — and could be implemented tomorrow.”
About 47,000 men a year in Britain are found to have prostate cancer; more than 11,500 die from the disease.
Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: “This is a monumental finding that could help thousands of men worldwide.”
Simon Grieveson, acting deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We now want to see the use of radiotherapy extended to this group of men without delay.”