Picking up the PACE

In this new trial researchers used ultra-hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to deliver five higher doses of radiation to patients over one to two weeks.

Advanced radiotherapy technology could cure some prostate cancer patients in just one or two weeks, according to new research by The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR). This is a significant reduction from the current standard of one to two months, and the first occasion that such a short timeframe of treatment has been investigated in a Phase III trial.

 

Dr Nick van As

In the PACE-B trial, published in The Lancet Oncology, researchers used ultra-hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to deliver five higher doses of radiation to patients over one to two weeks. They found that in the three months after treatment, the side effects were no worse than those in patients who had the conventional therapy of moderate doses over a longer period. At The Royal Marsden, the treatment was delivered by the CyberKnife machine, which was funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s supporters.

The next phase of the trial, PACE C, is now recruiting patients across the UK. This study, which is funded by the Charity through generous support from gifts in Wills, is designed to compare patients receiving SBRT and an anti-hormone therapy, with those receiving this therapy alongside other forms of radiotherapy.

Chief Investigator Dr Nicholas van As (pictured above) Medical Director and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden said:

These early results are very encouraging, giving hope that prostate cancer patients can benefit from this technology with increased and improved treatment options. Using SBRT to deliver this treatment would mean that patients could be spared numerous visits to hospital, allowing them to get back to their lives sooner.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity is currently fundraising for a second CyberKnife machine for The Royal Marsden in Sutton which will enable even more patients to access this latest technology for radiotherapy treatment.

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