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Laser treatment for prostate "effective"

Tuesday December 20th, 2016

A laser-based therapy has proved its effectiveness as a non-surgical treatment for low-risk prostate cancer, British researchers report today.

About half of the patients in the four-year European trial went into complete remission following treatment with vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy - VTP, it was announced.

Some 413 patients took part in the study and just 13.5% of the men in a control group experienced complete remission.

The treatment involves the injection of a light sensitive drug. It is then activated by laser in the tumour tissue in the prostate.

The findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology.

The trial showed that just 6% of patients treated with VTP went on to need radical therapy compared with 30% of those in the control arm.

The treatment was tested in 47 hospitals in ten European countries.

Researchers say that since 2011 other advances mean the treatment can be improved - through increasingly accurate pin-pointing of tumours.

Researcher Professor Emberton, of University College, London, UK, said: "The fact that the treatment was performed so successfully by non-specialist centres in various health systems is really remarkable.

"New procedures are generally associated with a learning curve, but the lack of complications in the trial suggests that the treatment protocol is safe, efficient and relatively easy to scale up."

He added: "We would also expect the treatment to be far more precise if we repeated it today, as technology has come a long way since the study began in 2011."

Azzouzi et al. Padeliporfin Vascular-targeted Photodynamic Therapy Versus Active Surveillance: A Randomised Clinical Trial in Men with Low-risk Prostate Cancer. Lancet Oncology 20 December 2016

Tags: Cancer | Men's Health | UK News

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