Testicular cancer can be treated successfully with fewer rounds of chemotherapy drugs, a study published in European Urology has suggested.
A study on 246 patients found that a single cycle of chemo was just as effective as the standard two cycles. In many men who have had surgery for an aggressive form of testicular cancer, the disease can come back elsewhere in their bodies and need intensive treatment, often within two years after initial diagnosis.
‘Men with testicular cancer who are at high risk of recurrence have generally been treated with two cycles of chemotherapy – but our new study found that one cycle was enough to stop their tumour from coming back,’ said Professor Robert Huddart, Professor of Urological Cancer at the ICR, and Consultant in Urological Oncology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
The new trial showed that giving men one cycle of chemotherapy was as effective at preventing men’s testicular cancer from coming back as the two cycles used as standard.
Crucially, lowering the overall exposure to chemotherapy reduced the debilitating side effects which can have a lifelong impact on patients’ health.
‘Reducing the overall dose of chemotherapy could spare young men who have their whole lives ahead of them from long-term side effects, and also means they will need fewer hospital visits for their treatment,’ added Professor Huddart. ‘This new trial is already changing clinical practice on a global scale, and is set to improve patients’ quality of life as well as reducing the cost of testicular cancer treatment. Reducing the number of cycles and the dosage of chemotherapy for testicular cancer could save the NHS money, and free up valuable hospital time and resources.’