Radium-223 is a drug that emits radioactive particles to treat men with prostate cancer that has spread to the bones and does not respond to standard hormone treatments. It treats the bony lesions in these patients. The drug is injected into a vein and emits radioactive particles that zero in on cancerous tissue in the bones.
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. Radium-223 was also found to protect the skeleton from complications such as bone fractures that are frequently associated with prostate cancer spreading to bone and significantly increases a patient’s chance to have an improved quality of life.
We were one of the first health care institutions in the New York metropolitan area to offer Radium-223 for the treatment of men with metastatic prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. The health system is an experienced leader in offering this treatment, having treated patients with Radium-223 as a part of clinical trials before it was approved by the FDA.