Brachytherapy: Low-risk prostate cancer now finds cure

Prostate cancer could be treated with single dose of targeted radiotherapy.

Washington: A new technique, in which a single high dose of radiation can be delivered directly to the tumour within a few minutes, is safe and effective for treating men with low-risk prostate cancer, recent findings suggested. The study was presented at the ESTRO 38 conference.

Radiotherapy traditionally involves a series of lower dose treatments that take place over several days or week. The new treatment is called high dose-rate brachytherapy and it delivers radiation via a set of tiny tubes.

Researchers said this technique could offer an effective treatment that is convenient for patients and brings potential time and cost savings for hospitals. The research was presented by Dr Hannah Tharmalingam

“Brachytherapy, where we use temporary catheters to directly treat tumours, has already proved to be a good treatment for prostate cancer, both in terms of killing the cancer cells and minimising side effects. This usually means patients make four to six visits to the hospital for a series of lower dose treatments.

We wanted to see whether we could get similar results but with just one high dose treatment, saving time for the patient and the hospital,” said Dr Tharmalingam, one of the researchers. The research included 441 men with prostate cancer who were treated at one of the seven United Kingdom hospitals between 2013 and 2018.

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