Fighting Prostate Cancer with Radium-223
A new treatment which significantly improves survival and better controls symptoms is now available for men with bone metastases due to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Prostate cancer often metastasis to the bones, leading to chronic and severe pain, bone fractures, disability, and a decreased quality of life. In addition, bone disease and its complications are often the cause of prostate-cancer related deaths.
A new radiopharmaceutical, Radium-223 (trade name Xofigo) has been recently approved by the FDA for monthly injection over six months. It can provide symptom control, pain relief, and improved survival among CRPC patients with bone metastases. The therapy is covered by Medicare. Radium-223 is the first alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical to reach the market and considered to be a significant advancement in care for those patients in whom chemotherapy has not been effective. Following intravenous injection, Radium-223 is handled by the body similar to calcium, so it naturally travels to and deposits in the bone where it delivers high energy particles that kill cancer cells in the bone. Particles released are short-range, so damage to nearby tissue is minimized. Increasing survival and offering symptom relief, Radium-223 in many ways represents a significant breakthrough in the treatment of this debilitating condition.
Patrice K. Rehm, M.D.
Director – Division of Nuclear Medicine
Scheduling an Appointment
For your convenience, the Nuclear Medicine Department has a team of dedicated schedulers to assist you in getting an appointment. To schedule you appointment, please call 434-924-0251. Our nursing staff will contact you by phone before your appointment.