Bladder cancer patients could be treated with a combination of chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy as a way of reducing the risk of a tumour returning, it has been revealed.
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Scientists conducting a seven-year trial at the University of Birmingham found that adding two commonly used chemotherapy drugs to traditional radiotherapy could reduce the likelihood of a patient’s tumour coming back by a third.
The study, which involved 360 patients, showed that those receiving the combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment - known as chemoradiotherapy - had a tumour relapse rate of 33%, compared with a rate of 46% in patients who were just given radiotherapy.
Professor Nick James, who led the trial, said: “Importantly, both chemotherapies used in this trial are cheap, widely available drugs that are commonly used in cancer treatment already. This makes their use much more practical.”
Scientists believe the two chemotherapy drugs - 5FU and Mitomycin C - make cancer cells more sensitive to the radiotherapy treatment, boosting its effectiveness.
The results of the study will be presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual conference next Monday.