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Prostate cancer 'gets bullet' in new 'search and destroy' treatment

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'One in five men lived for almost three years after receiving the targeted radiotherapy' (stock photo)

'One in five men lived for almost three years after receiving the targeted radiotherapy' (stock photo)

'One in five men lived for almost three years after receiving the targeted radiotherapy' (stock photo)

A game-changing "search and destroy" treatment could offer hope of a longer life to thousands of men with incurable prostate cancer.

The first two British patients were treated last weekend, after research found it could significantly extend survival for men with no other options.

Charities said they were "thrilled" by the promise shown by the treatment, which identifies and attacks a protein found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. One in five men lived for almost three years after receiving the targeted radiotherapy.

Medics at the world's largest cancer conference in Chicago said the treatment was a "huge" breakthrough, giving hope to around 3,400 men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in Ireland each year.

The method, which experts described as delivering "a bullet instead of a light", is based on imaging techniques that light up tumours in order to plan treatment. The technique simultaneously delivers a radioactive payload.

The technique - called prostate-specific membrane antigen radiotherapy - has been dubbed a "search and destroy" method of treatment.

Telegraph.co.uk