The injection of gold granules into a cancer patient's prostate allows for precise targeting during radiation treatment, according to a joint study by the Calvary Mater Hospital and the University of Newcastle in Australia.
For two years the team of specialists examined nearly 300 patients, observing differences between the group treated with gold and the group treated without gold.
The "golden" patients received more precise targeting of the cancer and reduced side effects on nearby tissue.
"We didn’t realise it was going to produce such a massive reduction in side effects," said study co-author Jim Denham.
Sixty seven year old Bob McGregor was among the recipients of the gold injections, pleased to report that he's recovering well and that he "didn't have any side effects from treatment at all."
"I was a bit lethargic but talking to earlier guys, that had real problems."
Displaying a sense of humour throughout the ordeal, McGregor referred to the value of the precious metal now featuring in his prostate: "My kids reckon they’re going to cremate me so they can get it back."
Denham called the results "a very solid step forward. It enables new technology to be used properly. It’s well on the way to becoming the norm."
“To me it’s one of the best things that’s happened in my medical practice. It’s rare to see something that works so dramatically."
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Source: The Newcastle Herald