25 Sep 2011

Cancer drug trial ended early

9:26 pm on 25 September 2011

A trial in Britain of a new cancer drug which accurately targets tumours has been so successful it has been stopped early.

Doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London gave prostate cancer patients a powerful alpha radiation drug and found that they lived longer, and experienced less pain and side effects.

Medics then stopped the trial of more than 900 people, saying it was unethical not to offer the treatment to all the particpants.

Half were given the radium-223 chloride drug alongside traditional chemotherapy, while the other patients received chemotherapy and a dummy pill.

The death rate was 30% lower in the group taking radium-223. Those patients survived for 14 months on average compared to 11 months in the other group.