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Tri-City Medical Center Adds to Its Arsenal In the Treatment of Late-Stage Prostate Cancer

Tri-City Medical Center has added Xofigo (radium Ra223 dichloride) to its arsenal in the treatment of late-stage prostate cancer.  Xofigo, which was fast-tracked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval in May 2013, is used to treat prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has spread to the bones with symptoms, but not to other parts of the body.

“Xofigo is a game changer,” said David Evans, M.D., a board-certified specialist in nuclear medicine at Tri-City Medical Center.  For men with late-stage prostate cancer that has prostate cancer has metastasized into the bone, this medication, which is given in lieu of chemotherapy for those who quality, can extend the survival rate from 11.3 months to 14.9 months.  “Most significant, said Dr. Evan, “is that these patients enjoy a substantially greater quality of life throughout this period than they would under a traditional regimen of chemotherapy.”

Xofigo, an injectable medication that is delivered once a month for six months, contains the radioactive material radium 223.  Dr. Evans noted that radium and calcium have similar chemical properties.  “Xofigo goes to areas in a patient’s bones that are growing quickly, just like calcium does,” he said.  “Bone metastases are one of those rapidly growing areas.” 

Once at the metastases, the radiation from Xofigo gives off a strong energy that travels a very short distance. This radiation is deadly to cancer cells in the bones, but does limited damage to nearby healthy cells. 

“We have been extremely excited by the efficacy benefit and safety profile of Xofigo,” said Dr. Evans. “Our initial observation is that Xofigo outperforms other agents on the attributes of pain palliation, delaying time to symptomatic skeletal event, and reducing the need for palliative care.”

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer remains the leading cancer type among men outside of skin cancer, and about one man in every six will develop the illness during his lifetime. Caught early, it is often curable. About 239,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed among American men each year, and nearly 30,000 men die from the disease. 

“At Tri-City Medical Center, we’re always seeking the most innovative and proven options for our patients, “interim Tri-City Medical Center CEO Casey Fatch.  “We view Xofigo as an important step in our journey to treat late-stage prostate cancer, prolong patient lives, and do so in a way that preserves patient dignity and quality of life.”

 

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