New targeted radiation treatment reduces bone pain, extends survival in prostate cancer patients

August 23, 2013

Prostate cancer that has spread to the bones can cause pain and fractures.

Loyola University Medical Center is among the first hospitals in Chicago to offer a new targeted that can reduce bone pain and the incidence of fractures – and also extend patients' lives.

The treatment, recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is called Xofigo®. A , radium-223, is injected into the patient. Because it is similar to calcium, radium-223 binds to the bone. Radium-223 delivers high- over a short distance, providing a targeted treatment that is less damaging to other structures or tissues, said Robert Wagner, MD, medical director of Nuclear Medicine in Loyola's Department of Radiology.

Radium-223 is rapidly cleared from the blood stream. Fifteen minutes after injection, about 20 percent of the injected radioactivity remains in the blood. By 24 hours, less than 1 percent of radioactivity remains.

Xofigo is indicated for prostate cancer patients in which:

- the cancer has spread to the bones, but not to other organs

- the cancer is not responding to hormone therapy or surgery that blocks production of testosterone, and

- the cancer spread to the bones is causing other serious symptoms.

Radium-223 is injected into an IV line in a patient's vein, in a procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. The patient receives a series of six injections, given once every four to six weeks.

Side effects can include upset stomach, diarrhea, swelling in the hands and feet and decreased counts of , and platelets.

"While the treatment is not a cure, it can enable patients to live longer, with significantly improved quality of life," Wagner said.

Explore further: Safer radium therapy provides hope for metastatic prostate cancer patients

Related Stories

Safer radium therapy provides hope for metastatic prostate cancer patients

July 18, 2013
A study of a new radiotherapeutic drug published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine brings fresh hope for a particular group of cancer patients that otherwise suffer and ultimately die from the disease—those ...

US approves radiation-based prostate cancer drug

May 15, 2013
(AP)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new injectable drug that uses radiation to treat advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.

First Phase III trial of an alpha-pharmaceutical

September 23, 2011
Until recently, options for patients with bone metastases from advanced prostate cancer have been very limited. But now the first Phase III study of an alpha-pharmaceutical in these patients has shown that it can prolong ...

New therapy extends life for prostate cancer patients

June 11, 2012
Prostate cancer patients with advanced tumors that have spread to bone have a poor chance of surviving. Patients with the disease may now live longer with a new line of radioisotope therapy, say researchers at the Society ...

Therapy that heats and destroys bone tumors eases patients' pain

June 2, 2013
Patients with cancer that has spread to their bones are often treated with radiation therapy to reduce pain. But if that treatment doesn't work, or can't be used again, a second, effective option now exists. Results of a ...

Recommended for you

Study provides insight into link between two rare tumor syndromes

August 22, 2017
UCLA researchers have discovered that timing is everything when it comes to preventing a specific gene mutation in mice from developing rare and fast-growing cancerous tumors, which also affects young children. This mutation ...

Retaining one normal BRCA gene in breast, ovarian cancers influences patient survival

August 22, 2017
Determining which cancer patients are likely to be resistant to initial treatment is a major research effort of oncologists and laboratory scientists. Now, ascertaining who might fall into that category may become a little ...

Study identifies miR122 target sites in liver cancer and links a gene to patient survival

August 22, 2017
A new study of a molecule that regulates liver-cell metabolism and suppresses liver-cancer development shows that the molecule interacts with thousands of genes in liver cells, and that when levels of the molecule go down, ...

Zebrafish larvae could be used as 'avatars' to optimize personalized treatment of cancer

August 21, 2017
Portuguese scientists have for the first time shown that the larvae of a tiny fish could one day become the preferred model for predicting, in advance, the response of human malignant tumors to the various therapeutic drugs ...

Scientists discover vitamin C regulates stem cell function, curbs leukemia development

August 21, 2017
Not much is known about stem cell metabolism, but a new study from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has found that stem cells take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which then ...

Searching for the 'signature' causes of BRCAness in breast cancer

August 21, 2017
Breast cancer cells with defects in the DNA damage repair-genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 have a mutational signature (a pattern of base swaps—e.g., Ts for Gs, Cs for As—throughout a genome) known in cancer genomics as "Signature ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.