Patients who have HRPC often have involvement of bone marrow, leading to symptoms such bone pain, spinal-cord compression and pathological fracture. Existing bone-targeted treatments, such as use of the beta-emitting radioisotope strontium-89 have been shown to reduce bone pain.
Dr Christopher Parker, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, UK and colleagues did a study of 64 patients with HRPC. Radium 223 was chosen because it emits alpha radiation – which has higher energy and travels less distance than the beta radiation. Thus Parker and colleagues believe that alpha radiation will have a more pronounced localised effect on tumours.
The patients were randomly assigned to two groups. In the first, 33 received external-beam radiotherapy and up to four injections of radium-223. The other group received the same radiotherapy and placebo.
Levels of bone alkaline phosphatase (bone-ALP) – considered a marker for progression of HRPC – decreased by 66% in the group receiving radium-223. The length of time for patients’ HRPC to progress - as assessed by each prostate-specific-antigen concentration – was much longer for those receiving radium 223 (26 weeks) compared to placebo (eight weeks). The median survival time for radium-223 patients was 41% longer than those receiving placebo (65.3 weeks vs 46.4 weeks respectively); and no Radium-223 patients stopped treatment due to treatment toxicity
However, radium-223 treatment had no significant effect on the timing of skeletal related events (SREs) – another key indicator of HRPC progression. These include, among other factors, a 25% increase in pain severity, increased painkiller consumption, new pathological bone fractures, tumour related orthopaedic surgical intervention, and use of radioisotopes to relieve new skeletal related symptoms.
The authors believe larger clinical trials are needed to study the effect of radium-223 on SREs and overall survival rates for HRPC.
The authors say: “In our randomised study of patients with symptomatic, hormone-refractory prostate cancer, radium-223 was well tolerated with little or no myelotoxic effect, and showed promising evidence of efficacy.”
They conclude: “Further studies of radium-223 should explore potential for escalation of dose and for increased duration of treatment by more than four injections. The bone targeting properties of Radium-223 could also be applicable to the treatment of skeletal metastasis from other primary cancers.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences