(RxWiki News) One of the forms of prostate cancer that no longer responds to treatment is referred to as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Even when testosterone levels are reduced, this cancer continues to progress.
What's worse, radiation levels high enough to kill these cancer cells frequently damage bones, causing fractures.
A multinational study on radium-223 chloride concluded that it was more effective than other treatment options for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Radium-223 chloride may soon be the new standard of care for patients with this type of prostate cancer, which is both castration resistant and has metastasized to the bone.
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The study, presented at the 2012 Genitourinary Cancer Symposium, outlined a phase III double-blind randomized clinical trial involving 922 patients. This clinical trial represents the highest level of evidence, proving that the treatment is more effective than the current standard.
“As recently as two years ago, we had very few options for patients with this particularly difficult form of advanced prostate cancer,” said lead author Oliver Sartor, M.D., medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center.
“Now we have a handful. But Radium-223 is the first treatment to both reduce adverse skeletal-related events (SREs) and improve survival.”
The findings of the study were significant enough for the scientists to stop the placebo and begin radium-223 treatment for all the patients enrolled in the study. Radium-223 helped patients live an average of three months longer.
Dr. Sartor stated that further research was needed to look at how to best integrate radium-223 injections with other forms of chemotherapy.
Results are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Researchers denied any financial conflicts of interest.