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World-first clinical trial for prostate cancer patients

Prostate cancer patients at Guy’s Cancer Centre are to be treated with shockwave therapy as part of an innovative new trial.

Tet Yap KlinefelterIt is hoped that the new shockwave therapy trial will cure or improve their erectile function, which may have been damaged from their previous prostate cancer surgery.

Erectile dysfunction is the most common side effect that patients suffer from after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Around 70% to 80% of prostate cancer patients have erectile dysfunction and will need lifelong medication to restore function. However, many of those patients don’t respond to treatment.

Shockwave therapy consists of delivering an acoustic wave which carries high energy to painful spots and musculoskeletal tissues. Previous studies have shown that shockwave therapy can help the regeneration of blood vessels and nerves. The treatment has already been proven to work in treating other medical conditions, such as joint disorders and kidney stones.

Patients will receive treatment through a randomised trial for 10 sessions once a week. In these sessions, low energy shockwaves are directed to a targeted area using a specialist probe for around 10 to 15 minutes.

Mr Tet Yap, consultant andrological surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and trial lead, said:

We’re delighted to be able to offer this potentially life-changing treatment to patients with prostate cancer. Most patients who are in remission will lose their sexual function through nerve damage following surgery.
This new painless therapy has the potential to restore their erectile function by regenerating new blood vessels and nerves, hopefully helping patients to return to leading a normal healthy life.

The trial is currently open to recruitment, and there is more information on how to take part on the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust website.

As a European Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the King's Health Partners Cancer Clinical Academic Group brings together world-class clinical services, research and education for the benefit of cancer patients in south east London and beyond.

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