October 6, 2008
Chemo Drug is Better Option to Radiotherapy
A single jab of a chemotherapy drug can cure a common type of testicular cancer, researchers said today.
Carboplatin, which is often used to treat ovarian and lung cancer, can replace radiotherapy to cure early-stage seminoma, a study found.
The drug is being hailed as a "safer cure" for the cancer by experts, with fewer long-term risks.
About 40 to 45 per cent of testicular cancers are early-stage seminoma and between 780 and 880 men are diagnosed with this stage of the disease each year in the UK.
In the early stages, the cancer is either confined to the testicle or causes slight enlargement of the lymph nodes in the pelvis or abdomen.
It is nearly always curable and more than 95 per cent of men diagnosed with early-stage seminoma live for more than five years after diagnosis.
In the largest ever trial of the disease, a single carboplatin injection was used to treat 573 patients with early-stage seminoma.
The results were compared with 904 men given two or three weeks of daily radiotherapy, the current standard treatment.
Those patients given carboplatin experienced fewer side effects and were able to get back to their normal lives quicker than the men on radiotherapy, the research found.
Men with seminomas usually have the testicle removed where the cancer occurred.
The study, funded by the Medical Research Council, was presented today at the National Cancer Research Institute cancer conference in Birmingham.
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