Australian doctors behind the first trial of the robotic versus non-robotic surgery for prostate cancer have found that both methods produce similar results at three months after the operation, a study published in the Lancet medical journal said on Wednesday.
The discovery was made after 308 men with prostate cancer agreed to partake in the first stage of the two-year trial which was led by two surgeons at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
All men were randomly selected to either receive a robot-assisted surgery or an open surgery along with 12 weeks worth of follow-up care.
Surgery has long been the dominant approach for treatment of localized prostate cancer, with many doctors now recommending robotic surgery to patients as the benefits of technology lead to improved quality of life and oncological outcomes, lead author Professor Robert Frank Gardiner said in a statement.
“Our randomized trial, the first of its kind, found no statistical
difference in quality of life outcomes between the two groups at 12 weeks’ follow-up,” Gardiner said.
“Patients are now being followed-up for a total of two years in order to fully assess the longer-term outcomes, including on cancer survival.”
Urinary and sexual function can continue to improve for up to three years after surgery, thus differences in outcomes between the two groups might become apparent.
The robotic-assisted surgery comes with a hefty price tag due to the high magnification 3D camera allowing doctors to see inside a patient’s abdomen through a keyhole incision, though is painless.
Open surgery however sees patients requiring three times more blood for the procedure, an issue due to chronic blood donation shortages.
There are 1 million men diagnosed with prostate cancer worldwide each year, reports AFP, SYDNEY.