Researchers from the University of York in the UK have discovered a potential new treatment option for patients with early-stage prostate cancer - low-temperature plasmas.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, seeks to address the current inadequacy of long-term treatment for prostate cancer, despite the continual improvements that have been made to methods of treatment in recent years.

At present, patients who develop early stage organ-confined tumors can be treated with a focal therapy, such as cryotherapy or radiotherapy.
"However, around a third of patients will experience recurrence of their disease following radiotherapy," explains study co-author Adam Hirst. "This may be due to the inherent radio-resistance of a small fraction of the tumor - the cancer stem-like cells. Furthermore, numerous side effects are often experienced following treatment."

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer death among this group. Around 1 in 7 will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime, at an average age of 66.