A new clinical trial which offers men with high risk prostate cancer radiotherapy treatment in a quarter of the time has begun at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

Currently, patients with prostate cancer are treated with radiotherapy over a minimum of 20 treatments for at least four weeks.

A large clinical trial, called PACE-B, showed that five treatments of advanced stereotactic radiotherapy could safely be used as an alternative and would run over a week and a half for patients with low and intermediate risk disease.

The next phase of the PACE trials, led by Professor Nicolas van As, Medical Director and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and Professor in Precision Prostate Radiotherapy at The Institute of Cancer Research, is to look at whether the five fraction treatment is also effective for men with high risk disease.

Michael Robson, 78, is the first patient to be part of the trial in Royal Surrey. He was diagnosed in December 2023.

“I feel very privileged to be the first patient. The service has been first class from everybody concerned,” Michael said.

Dr Philip Turner, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and principal investigator for the trial, said: “We are delighted to be opening the PACE NODES trial in Royal Surrey. This is part of our drive to give Surrey patients access to the very best oncology clinical trials.

"The benefits with regard to timing are enormous. The rates of side effects are low. Crucially, the five fraction treatment appears just as safe as conventional 20 fraction treatments which we have been using for years very safely.”

Louise Stead, the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this new clinical trial. If successful, this could make a huge difference to patients receiving treatment for prostate cancer.”