London, Oct 6 : Just a single dose of chemotherapy drug can help cure a common form of testicular cancer in many patients, according to a new study.
Researchers at Southampton University say that chemotherapy drug carboplatin can cure early stage seminoma, so that men diagnosed with the disease can be successfully treated with fewer side effects.
They have found that the injection can effectively cure early stage seminoma with fewer side effects than radiotherapy.
The researchers say that patients receiving the therapy can resume their normal lives much more quickly.
The vast majority of cases include "seminomas", affecting the sperm-producing cells in the testicle, and almost half of these are caught at an early stage.
Men, with this form of cancer often have their affected testicle removed, and are then offered either a single dose of carboplatin chemotherapy, a longer regime of radiotherapy, or the option to have no extra treatment with a higher risk of the cancer returning.
Study leader Dr Ben Mead has revealed that the research team looked at almost 1,500 patients, 904 given radiotherapy and 573 carboplatin, and found that the rate of relapse in both groups was roughly the same.
The researcher said that the results were "reassuring", and that carboplatin was the better option.
"Giving patients a carboplatin injection rather than radiotherapy is less unpleasant with fewer long-term risks," the BBC quoted Mead as saying.
"The initial results of the trial looked encouraging, but we needed to follow patients for another four years before we knew for sure that they had been cured," he added.
Professor Tim Oliver, from the Bart's and the London Medical School, said that another advantage of carboplatin was that by treating the whole body rather than one area, the small risk of another testicular cancer emerging in the other testicle was also reduced.
Just two out of 573 patients on carboplatin experiencing this, compared with 15 out of 904 in the radiotherapy group.