Promising Prostate Cancer Treatment Offers New Hope

According to the results of recent clinical trial involving more than 400 men with localized prostate cancer — cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate— a new treatment can destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue. Called vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy (VTP), this treatment also reduces the need for radiation therapy and removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy)—prostate cancer therapies that typically cause a number of adverse side effects.

In VTP, a light-sensitive drug is injected into the bloodstream. When activated using a laser, the drug releases free radicals that destroy prostate cancer cells. For the recent study, 206 men with early prostate cancer received VTP and 207 men continued with active surveillance—regular monitoring with medical exams and tests.

After 2 years, 49 percent of men treated with VTP were in complete remission, compared to 13.5 percent of men who received active surveillance. In addition, men treated with VTP were less likely to need radical therapy—6 percent compared to 30 percent—and were three times less likely to experience cancer progression. Some men treated with VTP experienced urinary and erectile side effects—but they resolved within 3 months of starting treatment.

According to researchers, it will be several years before this treatment is widely available. The hope is that VTP will be effective against other types of cancer as well.

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Sourced from Medical News Today.