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One dose of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat lung and ovarian cancer can cure a type of testicular cancer, researchers claim.
A study, funded by the Medical Research Council, claims a single jab of carboplatin can replace radiotherapy to cure early-stage seminoma.
The drug is being hailed as a “safer cure” for the cancer, with fewer long-term risks.
About 40% to 45% of testicular cancers are early-stage seminoma and between 780 and 880 men are diagnosed with this stage of the disease each year in the UK.
In the early stages, the cancer is either confined to the testicle or causes slight enlargement of the lymph nodes in the pelvis or abdomen.
It is nearly always curable and more than 95% of men diagnosed with early-stage seminoma live for more than five years after diagnosis.
In the largest ever trial of the disease, a single carboplatin injection was used to treat 573 patients with early-stage seminoma.
The results were compared with 904 men given two or three weeks of daily radiotherapy, the current standard treatment.
Those patients given carboplatin experienced fewer side-effects. A total of 5% relapsed within three years. But none of the men died from their cancer following further treatment.
The study will be presented at the National Cancer Research Institute cancer conference in Birmingham.
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