Prostate cancer trial 'saved my life', says Dungannon man

A DUNGANNON man is among those to benefit from a new radiotherapy trial for men with prostate cancer which massively reduces the number of visits for treatment.

Gordon Robinson, 70, took part in the trial and credits it with having saved his life.

Treatment may be delivered in just five bouts compared to the usual 37, according to researchers at Queen’s University Belfast.

The trial was the first of its kind in the UK and delivered large doses per treatment concentrated on the tumour.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in Northern Ireland, with around 1,000 cases each year.

And Dungannon man Gordon said the treatment has been vital for him.

He said: “If it wasn’t for this research, I simply would not be here. My family and I are so thankful to the doctors who have helped us.

“This treatment has allowed me to live my life again.”

Patients in the study had SpaceOar, a minimally invasive hydrogel technology, inserted prior to radiotherapy treatment.

In previous studies, SpaceOar has been shown to significantly decrease unwanted side effects.

Mr Robinson was offered a high-dose five treatment course instead of enduring two months of treatment.

“The treatment was really successful in getting rid of my tumour,” he said.

“I knew about the side effects of treatment and they really frightened me but this trial meant I had very little discomfort or complications and can return to normal life. For that I am very grateful.”

The study is conducted in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre and is being supported/funded by Friends Of The Cancer Centre and Augmenix UK Ltd.

The trial is still open and in the future there are hopes to be able to offer this treatment to a wider range of men.

Queen’s is a Prostate Cancer UK/Movember Foundation Centre of Excellence.

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