603 patients have been involved in trials across North America, the conference of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was told.
The research showed that 42 per cent of patients given combined treatment were tumor free after five years. The rate for patients who had surgery on its own was 22 per cent.
Researcher Dr Stephen Smalley, of Olathe Regional Oncology Center, Kansas, USA, said that patients who received combination treatment had an overall survival rate of 50 per cent. This compared with 40 per cent for those who only had surgery.
Tumor free at 5 years
Surgery, plus combo 42%
He said the study, which involved groups across North America, was the first to show that a combination treatment could improve on standard surgical resection.
He said: "We have been working for the past 30 years, trying to find a treatment that is better than surgery alone. This study is a breakthrough for these patients."
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