Prostate cancer could be cured with a “game-changing” one-hour operation that uses electric currents to destroy the most difficult to reach tumours.
The pioneering treatment has been used to treat the disease for the first time on the NHS, with surgeons saying the breakthrough could offer hope to thousands of men.
One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, with more than 50,000 cases detected a year.
Treatments offered normally involve surgery to remove the prostate or radiotherapy, both of which can cause distressing side-effects.
Surgeons said the new therapy, called Nanoknife – which has now been used to treat prostate cancer patients by University College London Hospital (UCLH) – was “amazingly simple and quick”, reducing the chance of a host of side effects.
Surgeons at UCLH have now carried out the first six operations for prostate cancer on the NHS, and consultant urologist Prof Mark Emberton said: “This offers us a new class of therapy – it’s a completely new way of destroying cells. The beauty of it is that it’s such a simple technique to train surgeons in. That makes it a game-changer.”
Prof Emberton, one of the country’s leading prostate surgeons, said that gave it the potential to become a standard treatment for the disease.