Breakthrough spares men side effects of prostate cancer

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And they found those with a larger tumour or a higher number of growths gained most. Some 58 percent of patients with bigger masses survived for at least five years after treatment ended. Meanwhile, 38 percent who had more tumours lived a minimum five years compared with 26 percent given alternative hormone therapy. However, men with fewer growths who had been diagnosed earlier did not benefit from docetaxel at all.

Experts said the results should allow doctors to “treat smarter, not harder”. Dr Hayley Luxton, of Prostate Cancer UK, which funded the study with University College London, said: “This is really exciting.

“There have been a lot of new treatments approved for prostate cancer in recent years but there’s still so much we don’t know about how they interact with each other and who benefits most.”

Dr Luxton said the analysis showed some men could get a huge boost from chemotherapy and should be targeted as a priority. She added: “Other groups don’t get any benefit at all, so could safely be moved on to other treatments.

“All this paves the way for men to receive more personalised, more effective treatments while experiencing fewer side effects.”

Study leader Dr Claire Vale presented the findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference in Chicago. She said: “Research into new prostate cancer treatments can be incredibly expensive and take a long time.

“This type of analysis that makes the best use of the information we already have, can make a big difference. We want to make sure it’s incorporated into clinical practice as soon as possible.”

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