(June 10, 2014 – Sarasota, FL) This week Dattoli Cancer Center & Brachytherapy Research Institute became the first independent physician practice in the U.S. to offer men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer an injectable isotope of radium, marketed by Bayer as Xofigo® (zoh-fee-go). This new pharmaceutical was recently FDA approved for use in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), which means their cancer has spread to bones.
Consisting of Radium Ra 223 dichloride, the drug is administered as an injection once a month, for 6 treatments. Xofigo® reacts similarly to calcium in bonding with bone lesions caused by the metastasis of prostate cancer. Xofigo® has been found to improve survival rates by 30% while treating symptomatic bone pain. While not curative, this therapy is an improvement over more prolonged treatments such as chemotherapy with far fewer side effects.
Metastatic prostate cancer occurs when the disease goes untreated, or may be insufficiently treated, and the cancer moves outside the prostate capsule. The disease frequently manifests itself as painful lesions in the bone, particularly the hip, spine, ribs and scapula. It can also attack other organs such as the lungs and brain. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 American men will advance to castration-resistant prostate cancer in any one year.
Unlike Radium RA 226, discovered by the Curies at the beginning of the 20th Century, the radioactive power of Radium Ra 223 is manageable in the 21st Century. RA 226 that was “discovered” in 1903 is still emitting radiation – its half-life being 1,601 years. In contrast, Ra 223 has a half-life of just over 11 days.
The Dattoli Center has constructed an on-site “hot lab” to contain Xofigo® overnight . The injections are ordered for individual patients and delivered to the Center for administration. Because the Ra 223 is active when it arrives, it must be stored, even temporarily, in specifically designed radiation-safe containers and surroundings.
Xofigo® will be covered by Medicare and most major health insurance policies.
Dattoli Cancer Center was established in 2000, and is known internationally for its non-surgical treatment protocol for prostate cancer. The Center has the longest, peer-reviewed published prostate cancer cure rate in the world.