Southampton surgeons are playing a crucial role in groundbreaking research aimed at finding a more effective cure for prostate cancer.
A team of researchers, led by Professor Hashim Ahmed, a world-renowned expert in prostate cancer diagnosis and minimally invasive prostate therapies, is working at Imperial College London with 918 patients in a project that, it is hoped, will ‘save lives‘ and turn ‘decades of knowledge on its head‘.
At present, a diagnosis of prostate cancer will usually result in hormone therapy aimed at limiting the growth of cancer in the body, alongside chemotherapy, but does not attack the cancer’s primary tumour.
In one of the most ambitious studies on cancer research of recent times, Dr Ahmed and his team will attack cancers with the use highly focused ultrasound, targeted surgery, or radiotherapy, in addition to the standard prostate cancer treatment.
Participating patients will be split into groups, and depending on their allocation, will receive one of various different treatments, from targeting freezing of the prostate tumour to full prostatectomy with the assistance of groundbreaking AI technology. All patients will also have access to the better-established process of radiotherapy, devoted to killing cancers which have spread beyond the primary tumour.
The University Hospital Southampton is providing some of the patients for the research, with consultant urological surgeon Tim Dudderidge commenting, ‘[t]his is potentially game-changing as, if it shows a clear benefit of treating the primary tumour in patients with advanced prostate cancer, it will turn decades of knowledge on its head, transform treatment options and save more lives‘.
Each year, 47,000 British men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, with many thousands dying as a result of late diagnosis. The prostate cancer survival rate has tripled in the past forty years, with the recent rate of research research offering further hopes for those living with cancer.