NEW HYDE PARK, NY – The North Shore-LIJ Health System Department of Radiation Medicine is offering Radium-223 (Xofigo) treatment for men with metastatic prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.
If prostate cancer grows outside of the prostate gland, it spreads into nearby tissues or lymph nodes, and then nearly always spreads to the bones. Spread of cancer to the bones can be painful and result in bone fractures or high blood calcium levels, which can be dangerous or even life threatening. Preventing or slowing the spread of prostate cancer to the bones is a major goal of treatment if the cancer has grown outside of the prostate.
“We have seen remarkable clinical responses in patients who have been treated with Radium-223,” said Brett Cox, MD, chief of brachytherapy in the Department of Radiation Medicine at North Shore-LIJ. “This is a treatment that increases the patients’ life expectancy, improves their chance to have an improved quality of life, and protects the skeleton from serious adverse events associated with prostate cancer spreading to bone. It is an exciting new weapon in the fight against metastatic prostate cancer.”
Radium-223 is an injectible form of radiation which is highly targeted to areas where prostate cancer has spread to bone. Given the unique characteristics of the treatment, the radiation is very focused and precise, only traveling a short distance from the areas containing the prostate cancer spread to bone. This protects the rest of the body from many of the possible damaging effects of treatment.
The North Shore-LIJ Department of Radiation Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center was involved in the pre-clinical trials of the treatment before it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so the health system has two years’ experience treating patients with Radium-223. In fact, it is one of the first health care providers in the New York metropolitan area to offer treatment with Radium-223.
“Radium-223 is expected to define a new standard of care in the treatment of patients with metastatic prostate cancer and we are excited to be able to offer it as a treatment option to our patients,” noted Louis Potters, MD, chair of radiation medicine.
“After treatment, I am no longer in pain and I’m able to get back to my life,” said Spyros Mantzos of New York, one of Dr. Cox’s patients. “At first, when I heard ‘radiation,’ I was scared, but I am no longer scared of treatment – I have one more round left, I haven’t lost my hair and I feel good.”
In a landmark clinical trial published in the July 18, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, treatment with Radium-223 significantly improved the survival of men with metastatic prostate cancer to bone when compared to a placebo treatment. Radium-223 treatment was associated with a 30 percent reduction in the risk of death from prostate cancer as compared to placebo treatments. The treatment was also found to protect the skeleton from complications such as bone fractures, and significantly increases a patient’s chance to have an improved quality of life. Based on these findings and other clinical data, Radium-223) was recently approved by the FDA for use in patients with bone metastases from prostate cancer.
To watch a video about this story, click here. For more information about Radium-223 and/or the Department of Radiation Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, call (718) 470-7190.
About North Shore-LIJ Health System
One of the nation's largest healthcare systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 46,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City. For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.