A form of radiotherapy that could halve the time prostate cancer patients spend receiving treatment has been recommended for use in Wales.
Health Technology Wales (HTW) has published guidance recommending the routine adoption of Extreme Hypofractionated Radiotherapy (EHFRT) for the treatment of localised prostate.
In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and in Wales, more than 2,500 men each year are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Radiotherapy is included as part of primary treatment in approximately 30% of prostate cancer patients and uses radiation to control or kill cancer cells. For prostate cancer patients it is usually delivered daily over several weeks, usually for five days a week for four weeks.
EHFRT is an adaption to conventional external beam therapy and delivers more radiotherapy per treatment session meaning that patients can complete their course of radiation therapy far quicker with treatment courses reduced from four weeks to just two weeks.
HTW, which assesses the clinical and cost effectiveness of non-medicine health technologies for use by the NHS in Wales, found that EHFRT is as effective as standard prostate cancer treatment, reduces the number of hospital visits needed and is likely to be cost effective.
Professor Peter Groves, Chairman of Health Technology Wales, said:
“We recommend that EHFRT should be made available as a radiotherapy treatment to people in Wales who have localised prostate cancer. EHFRT has the potential to improve their quality of life by halving the time they spend receiving treatment and reducing hospital visits. We hope that our recommendation helps to improve the lives of prostate cancer patients and their families across Wales.”
The guidance can be read in full here: