Prime Minister Theresa May has announced an investment of £75 million into research targeting earlier diagnosis and better treatment for men with prostate cancer.
The research will investigate innovative new treatments and aims to recruit more than 40,000 into more than 60 prostate cancer studies over the next five years.
One focus will be higher risk groups, including black men, those aged 50 or over, and those with a family history of prostate cancer.
More precise radiotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound and cryotherapy, alongside supportive interventions including exercise and dietary advice, will be tested in the studies.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive at the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said the plan “will provide more opportunities for earlier access to new drugs and therapies, which will ultimately lead to improved diagnoses and care in the future.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is now the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. It affects one in eight men and claims 10,000 lives a year, with more men now dying from the disease than women from breast cancer.
The announcement comes just days after an analysis by UK charity Orchid found that 37 percent of prostate cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed at stages three and four, and that 25 percent of cases are diagnosed in A&E.
Prof Frank Chinegwundoh, a urological surgeon at Bart's Health NHS Trust, told the BBC that it is “vital that patients are diagnosed early to assess if they need treatment or not as advanced prostate cancer is incurable”.
“Our cancer treatments are world class and survival rates are at a record high, but prostate cancer still claims thousands of lives every year. I know we can do more. That’s why I am setting out new plans to help thousands of men get treated earlier and faster,” May said.