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Home » Men's healthcare » Prostate cancer advanced radiotherapy: how five-day treatment works

Dr Philip Camilleri

Clinical Director of Uro-Oncology, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, GenesisCare

Five-day prostate cancer treatment is available using smart technology, which enables men to return to their normal lives quickly, with peace of mind.

The MRIdian SMART technology is an exciting step in treating a disease affecting more than 52,000 men each year. Prostate cancer, caught at an early stage before it’s spread, has a good outlook.

Benefits of five-day radiotherapy

Surgery or radiotherapy are equally effective in treating prostate cancer, but both treatments have side effects, and you also need to factor in the length of treatment and recovery time. Recent advances in radiotherapy technology now provide men with treatment, which minimises side effects and is completed in just five days — enabling a quick return to normal life. A recent study also reported that five-day treatment delivered similar prostate cancer control when compared with standard radiotherapy.

Real-time tumour tracking

Treatment is done using Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR or SBRT) — a modern treatment for localised prostate cancer. We use a machine called the MRIdian MR linac, which has a built-in MRI scanner to track the tumour and view the area being treated on a live feed, allowing us to accurately target radiation at the prostate.

This advanced technology protects
the bladder and bowel. No other
radiotherapy machine has this capability.

Targeted radiotherapy reduces side effects

Standard radiotherapy might cause long-term side effects, as the bladder and bowel sit close to the prostate. During treatment, radiation can also reach these areas due to normal body movements, which can lead to more noticeable urinary and bowel side effects.

However, using MRIdian MR linac radiotherapy, we can see and adjust the radiotherapy target throughout treatment. If the tumour moves out of range, the radiotherapy beam automatically switches off. This advanced technology protects the bladder and bowel. No other radiotherapy machine has this capability.

The ability to see the tumour means we can give higher doses of radiotherapy over just five consecutive days, compared to the standard 20–39 days of a smaller daily dose of radiotherapy. The overall dose given is the same in both types of treatment.

We’re also so confident in the accuracy, men who’ve already received radiotherapy to the prostate can return in the future, known as prostate cancer reirradiation.

Fast return to everyday life

You can start on a Monday, and by the weekend, treatment is complete. Many men receiving this treatment experience minimal impact on their lives; they’re able to continue working or even play sports without any long-term side effects.

Five-day treatment for prostate cancer is available on the MRIdian MR linac at GenesisCare centres in Oxford and Cromwell Hospital in London. Patients can use their private medical insurance or pay for themselves.

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