Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

New treatment for prostate cancer

Dr Joe O'Sullivan from Queen's University Belfast led a study to find a new treatment for prostate cancer

A new treatment for prostate cancer has been pioneered by scientists at Queen's University Belfast.

It is aimed at men with an advanced and aggressive form of prostate cancer which has spread to the bone and is the first of its kind.

It combines traditional chemotherapy treatments with two doses of a radioactive chemical which can target areas of the bone affected by the cancer.

Dr Joe O'Sullivan, consultant and senior lecturer in clinical oncology at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen's and leader of the study, said: "This is a significant development in the fight against prostate cancer.

"While this combination treatment still has to go to phase two of trials, to know that this combination is safe and feasible as a treatment is a huge step forward."

Aggressive and advanced prostate cancer is responsible for around 10,000 deaths each year in the UK.

Chemotherapy is often used to treat the disease, however benefits of this treatment are usually short-lived. An ability to combine two different types of drugs against prostate cancer may help improve outcomes including survival for these men.

The results of the first phase of the trial, which are published in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, demonstrate that it is safe and feasible to combine multiple injections of the radioactive chemical (Rhenium-186 HEDP) along with standard chemotherapy in men with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Dr O'Sullivan added: "Traditional chemotherapy treatments aren't always effective in treating aggressive and advanced forms of prostate cancer, so we needed to develop a new treatment which will provide better outcomes for patients with this type of cancer.

"The combination of chemotherapy with the radioactive chemical Rhenium-186 HEDP has the potential to improve outcomes, including survival, for men with this form of cancer."

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