New drug extends life of men with advanced prostate cancer

Dr Chris Parker "radium-223 to become a new standard treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer and bone metastases"

Dr Chris Parker "radium-223 to become a new standard treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer and bone metastases"

There’s good news for men’s health today with trials in the UK of a new prostate cancer drug, radium-223 chloride – also known as Alpharadin TM – being halted because the results were so successful.

Doctors at at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London found that the experimental treatment relieved pain while causing only minor side effects, leading them to decide it would be unethical not offer the drug to all 922 prostate cancer volunteers taking part in the study.

The UK trials, part of a wider Phase III trial of Alpharadin TM conducted in more than 150 hospitals in 19 countries, saw a 30 per cent lower death rate in those receiving the experimental drug record than those receiving identical prostate cancer treatment, but a placebo, living for 14 months, compared to 11.2 months of those in the placebo group.

Lead researcher on the project at the Royal Marsden Hospital, consultant clinical oncologist Dr Chris Parker, announced the results of the Alpharadin TM trial on behalf of all the participants at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011 in Stockholm last week, explaining that radium is similar to calcium, with both sharing the same periodic table, leading to it’s suitability for use in prostate cancer patients with bone metastases.

Radium-233 Chloride is an alpha emitter, “highly damaging, very lethal, but also very, very short range”.

Dr Parker said, if calcium is injected into the body it is attracted particularly to areas of new bone growth, such as caused by metastases and radium acts the same, however, unlike calcium, alpha particles have the ability to target and destroy the cancer, without damaging nearby unaffected bone marrow cells.

According to the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) about 90% of men who develop prostate cancer will develop bone metastases (the spread of a disease from one organ or part to another non-adjacent organ or part) in the advanced stage of prostate cancer, making the research findings significant for those who undertake prostate cancer treatment.

Dr Parker told the annual conference of cancer experts that Alpharadin TM was “the first drug targeting bone metastases in prostate cancer patients to improve survival”.

Dr Parker said radium-233 chloride was also well tolerated by the body, with side effects being limited to mild nausea, and periodic loose bowel movements, with a very small effect on the bone marrow.

The researchers intend to submit their findings for regulatory approval, with Dr Parker telling the oncology conference that once the approval is received, he expects the use of radium-223 to become a new standard treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer and bone metastases.

Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer such as with the HIV Home Kit prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can significantly improve survival rates, with PSA antigen tests increasing prostate cancer detection.

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HIV Home Kit rapid home prostate instant test kits are a immunochromatography-based one step in vitro screening test that provides qualitative detection of human prostate specific antigen (PSA) in human blood.

For more information see: HIV Home Kit rapid home prostate instant test kits

Disclaimer: HIV Home Kit rapid home prostate instant test kits provide a screening analysis only. Diagnosis should not be based on a single rapid home prostate instant test result, but only after additional laboratory prostate test results have been evaluated.

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John Le Fevre

Editor at Photo-journ.com
John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 30 years' experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and copy editor. He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia and previously held senior editorial staff positions with various Southeast Asia English language publications and international news agencies. He has covered major world events including the 1991 pillage riots in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2009 Songkran riots in Bangkok, and the 2010 ant-government Bangkok protests. In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

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