5-day 'radiotherapy' can 'cure' high-risk prostate cancers faster than usual! 5-day 'radiotherapy' can 'cure' high-risk prostate cancers faster than usual!

5-day 'radiotherapy' can 'cure' high-risk prostate cancers faster than usual!

5-day 'radiotherapy' can 'cure' high-risk prostate cancers faster than usual!  Research has shown that men with high-risk prostate cancer can be cured in just 5 days of 'turbo-charged' radiotherapy, instead of the usual 20 days.  The radical method, pioneered at Queen's University Belfast, has proven to be as safe and effective as the standard approach.  Radiation therapy involves blasting the prostate with powerful energy waves that destroy cancerous cells. It can also be an alternative to surgical removal of the gland.  It is usually given in a number of doses over a period of weeks. However, a newer method, called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, uses high-energy beams.  They are directed from different angles, blasting the tumor site with extreme precision.  The delicate nature of the treatment means that it does not cause significant damage to surrounding healthy tissue, as it would with the standard approach. When higher doses are given, only five days of treatment are required. This method had previously been used to treat small, low-risk prostate tumors, but this study was the first to show that it worked well in men with more advanced and more aggressive cancers.   One concern with high-intensity radiation therapy to the prostate is the potential for collateral damage to the intestines and rectum. Radiation can damage the nerves and muscles that control men's going to the toilet, causing incontinence.  To mitigate this, prior to treatment, the 30 men in the trial had a gel called SpaceOAR injected behind the prostate. It gently moves the rectum away from the prostate and creates a barrier, reducing radiation reaching the surrounding tissue by 70%. In the trial, none of the men had major bowel problems after the procedure.  Professor Sunil Jain, from Queen's University, said: "Men appreciate completing their treatment so quickly. Twenty days of radiotherapy may be daunting for some. Prostate cancer seems to be very sensitive to these high doses. If we could reduce the number of sessions per patient by about 75%, this will be a huge gain for the radiotherapy departments as well.”  Patients started the treatment between 2016 and 2018, so survival data is not yet available. However, Professor Jain said: "We expect to see similar results with this treatment protocol."  One of the participants in the trial, John Creswell, 69, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. The father-of-three from Coleraine said: “I have some friends who have had prostate cancer and have had hormone therapy and radiotherapy. They all had negative side effects, so I was a little worried." But Creswell, a retired firefighter, said he had no major problems. There was no blood in my urine or my intestines. Also, taking just one week off from hospital visits for treatment, was much easier. My cancer was treated before it spread.  Hayley Loxton, director of Prostate Cancer Research UK, said: "We now know this pioneering technology is safe, and opens the door to more targeted treatments, higher doses and fewer hospital visits for men with prostate cancer."        Identical twins with the same cancer symptoms, even though only one of them has the disease  Identical twins have had symptoms of cancer in the past five years. But the strange thing is that only one of them was infected with the deadly disease. Sophie Walker, 16, was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor - a type of kidney cancer - on October 25, 2017, and began a four-week course of chemotherapy soon after.  In the five years that followed, she went into remission twice - but relapsed four times. And all this time, her twin sister, Megan, has been experiencing many of the same symptoms.  After Sophie was diagnosed with stomach cramps, Megan began experiencing similar symptoms, including stomach and back pain, paleness, and even weight loss.  The girls' mother, Rebecca Walker, from Edinburgh, Scotland, said: "When Sophie was first diagnosed, Megan had all the symptoms. People comment on how bad she looks all the time - she's paler than her sister."  She indicated that all tests were done for Megan, and nothing was wrong with her at all. "It's very strange."  After 27 weeks of chemotherapy, Sophie went into remission until January 2020, when a routine MRI showed "something troubling" on her spine.   After a three-week course of radiotherapy, a relapse in December 2021 and a remission in December 2022, Sophie was told only three months earlier by consultants that she had relapsed again.  Since then, Sophie's advisor said she would be able to have her tumor operated on in her spine by a team of consultants, oncologists, pediatric surgeons and plastic surgeons.  Despite this "little bit of hope", Sophie still struggled "deeply" with health anxiety and depression, and Meghan was feeling "exactly the same".  "Meghan couldn't settle down if Sophie wasn't around," Rebecca said. "We have a big family and everyone takes care of each other, but Megan was struggling so much to take care of her sister."  Sophie and Megan have eight siblings. And when Sophie relapsed in January, Meghan also had a "head-to-toe" MRI scan. Rebecca explained: "Nothing ever showed up with her. Counselors tell me it's just something to do with the twins, which I find quite bizarre. I've never heard of identical twins getting sick at the same time, when one of them isn't really sick."

Research has shown that men with high-risk prostate cancer can be cured in just 5 days of 'turbo-charged' radiotherapy, instead of the usual 20 days.

The radical method, pioneered at Queen's University Belfast, has proven to be as safe and effective as the standard approach.

Radiation therapy involves blasting the prostate with powerful energy waves that destroy cancerous cells. It can also be an alternative to surgical removal of the gland.

It is usually given in a number of doses over a period of weeks. However, a newer method, called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, uses high-energy beams.

They are directed from different angles, blasting the tumor site with extreme precision.

The delicate nature of the treatment means that it does not cause significant damage to surrounding healthy tissue, as it would with the standard approach. When higher doses are given, only five days of treatment are required. This method had previously been used to treat small, low-risk prostate tumors, but this study was the first to show that it worked well in men with more advanced and more aggressive cancers.


One concern with high-intensity radiation therapy to the prostate is the potential for collateral damage to the intestines and rectum. Radiation can damage the nerves and muscles that control men's going to the toilet, causing incontinence.

To mitigate this, prior to treatment, the 30 men in the trial had a gel called SpaceOAR injected behind the prostate. It gently moves the rectum away from the prostate and creates a barrier, reducing radiation reaching the surrounding tissue by 70%. In the trial, none of the men had major bowel problems after the procedure.

Professor Sunil Jain, from Queen's University, said: "Men appreciate completing their treatment so quickly. Twenty days of radiotherapy may be daunting for some. Prostate cancer seems to be very sensitive to these high doses. If we could reduce the number of sessions per patient by about 75%, this will be a huge gain for the radiotherapy departments as well.”

Patients started the treatment between 2016 and 2018, so survival data is not yet available. However, Professor Jain said: "We expect to see similar results with this treatment protocol."

One of the participants in the trial, John Creswell, 69, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. The father-of-three from Coleraine said: “I have some friends who have had prostate cancer and have had hormone therapy and radiotherapy. They all had negative side effects, so I was a little worried." But Creswell, a retired firefighter, said he had no major problems. There was no blood in my urine or my intestines. Also, taking just one week off from hospital visits for treatment, was much easier. My cancer was treated before it spread.

Hayley Loxton, director of Prostate Cancer Research UK, said: "We now know this pioneering technology is safe, and opens the door to more targeted treatments, higher doses and fewer hospital visits for men with prostate cancer."







Identical twins with the same cancer symptoms, even though only one of them has the disease

Identical twins have had symptoms of cancer in the past five years. But the strange thing is that only one of them was infected with the deadly disease.
Sophie Walker, 16, was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor - a type of kidney cancer - on October 25, 2017, and began a four-week course of chemotherapy soon after.

In the five years that followed, she went into remission twice - but relapsed four times. And all this time, her twin sister, Megan, has been experiencing many of the same symptoms.

After Sophie was diagnosed with stomach cramps, Megan began experiencing similar symptoms, including stomach and back pain, paleness, and even weight loss.

The girls' mother, Rebecca Walker, from Edinburgh, Scotland, said: "When Sophie was first diagnosed, Megan had all the symptoms. People comment on how bad she looks all the time - she's paler than her sister."

She indicated that all tests were done for Megan, and nothing was wrong with her at all. "It's very strange."

After 27 weeks of chemotherapy, Sophie went into remission until January 2020, when a routine MRI showed "something troubling" on her spine.


After a three-week course of radiotherapy, a relapse in December 2021 and a remission in December 2022, Sophie was told only three months earlier by consultants that she had relapsed again.

Since then, Sophie's advisor said she would be able to have her tumor operated on in her spine by a team of consultants, oncologists, pediatric surgeons and plastic surgeons.

Despite this "little bit of hope", Sophie still struggled "deeply" with health anxiety and depression, and Meghan was feeling "exactly the same".

"Meghan couldn't settle down if Sophie wasn't around," Rebecca said. "We have a big family and everyone takes care of each other, but Megan was struggling so much to take care of her sister."

Sophie and Megan have eight siblings.
And when Sophie relapsed in January, Meghan also had a "head-to-toe" MRI scan. Rebecca explained: "Nothing ever showed up with her. Counselors tell me it's just something to do with the twins, which I find quite bizarre. I've never heard of identical twins getting sick at the same time, when one of them isn't really sick."

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