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  Health Highlights: Dec. 20, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

New Prostate Cancer Therapy Works Without Severe Side Effects

A new treatment for early stage prostate cancer is "transformative," according to researchers.

The therapy features lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria, and does not cause severe side effects, BBC News reported.

A clinical trial of 413 prostate cancer patients at 47 hospitals across Europe found that 49 percent had no remaining trace of cancer after undergoing the treatment. Only six percent of those who had the treatment had to undergo prostate removal, compared with 30 percent who did not have the new therapy.

Many prostate cancer patients who have surgery or radiation therapy have lifelong impotence and urinary incontinence. But sexual and urination problems lasted no longer than three months among patients who had the new therapy, according to the study in The Lancet Oncology.

The drug used in the treatment is made from bacteria that live in near total darkness on the ocean floor and become toxic only when exposed to light. Ten fiber optic lasers are inserted into the prostate. When switched on, the laser activates the drug to kill the cancer without harming the prostate, BBC News reported.

The new therapy could be as important an advance for prostate cancer patients as the shift from removing the whole breast to just the lump in women with breast cancer, according to Professor Mark Emberton, who tested the technique at University College London.

"This changes everything," he told BBC News.

"Traditionally the decision to have treatment has always been a balance of benefits and harms," he noted. "The harms have always been the side effects -- urinary incontinence and sexual difficulties in the majority of men."

"To have a new treatment now that we can administer, to men who are eligible, that is virtually free of those side effects, is truly transformative," Emberton said.

The new therapy has not been approved for use in patients.

There are other prostate cancer treatments, such as very focused ultrasound, that have a lower risk of side effects, but they are not universally available, BBC News reported.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=717999

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Neoplasms
Prostate
Prostatic Neoplasms
Therapeutics
Breast
Urinary Incontinence
Men
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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