Ground breaking research
into prostate cancer treatment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
PROSTRATE cancer patients are being
invited to take part in a trial that hopes to establish whether just five
treatments of radiotherapy are as good as surgery for fighting the disease.
The ground breaking research is taking place at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
NHS Foundation Trust and is aimed at men who are diagnosed at an early stage of
The Prostate Advances in Comparative Evidence (PACE) trial follows the results
of the CHHiP trial, a major study released last year which found that fewer,
higher doses of radiotherapy are as effective as giving lower doses for a longer
period, effectively cutting the number of treatments prostate cancer patients
As well as examining the surgery versus radiotherapy option, in a separate arm,
PACE will investigate whether the number of radiotherapy treatments can be
reduced even further by administering greater doses with higher accuracy, a
technique called stereotactic radiotherapy, or SABR. This will see participants
having just 5 sessions, as opposed to the 20 recommended after the CHHiP
The first participant for PACE at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has already
been treated and it is expected that more men will come forward to take part in
the trial over the coming weeks and months. Suitable patients will be offered a
place on the trial by their oncologist and surgeon, then, if they agree to take
part, will be selected at random for surgery or SABR radiotherapy. For those
that wish to avoid radiotherapy, the selection will be between standard
radiotherapy over four weeks or SABR radiotherapy.
The PACE Study is coming to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre after early work on
SABR for prostate cancer at The Royal Marsden and Mount Vernon hospitals. The
trial is now an international collaboration led by The Royal Marsden with more
UK and Canadian cancer centres joining the effort.
Dr Shaun Tolan, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer
Centre, and member of the study's Trial Management Group, said:- "The PACE
trial is looking at the new SABR technique of giving just five treatments in 5
days of higher dose, highly targeted radiotherapy and comparing that to surgery
or, in men who don't want an operation, to 20 standard treatments over 4 weeks.
We've already seen prostate radiotherapy schedules slashed from 7˝
weeks to 4 weeks and now PACE is looking at the possibility of treating men in 1
week. This would be a very attractive option for men who wish to avoid surgery
or for men who are concerned about the tiredness associated with lots of
travelling and the disruption to work and family life caused by many weeks of
Robert Croft, 62, from Chester, was the first patient to take part in the PACE
trial at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, undergoing five radiotherapy
treatments in a week at the hospital in Merseyside.
He was told about the PACE trial and was asked to decide what suited him better,
surgery or radiotherapy. "I'm not medical. I just had to weigh up which
seemed the most practical for me. Over two or three days the decision formed; I
would choose the radiotherapy trial. I learnt I was to be the 1st patient at
Clatterbridge. That didn't worry me. I have been taken very good care of."
He said the chance to have a shorter course of radiotherapy treatment appealed
to him, adding:- "It meant my summer being less disrupted and my momentum
Robert said he had been impressed by his treatment and the staff at The
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
He added:- "This is a place where extraordinary things happen for ordinary