Radiation-based approaches for therapy and palliation of advanced prostate cancer

Brian Lewis, Oliver Sartor
Current Opinion in Urology 2012, 22 (3): 183-9

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Randomized clinical trials of palliative radiation therapy and radiopharmaceuticals are emphasized, and new concepts in targeted alpha-emitter therapy are introduced.

RECENT FINDINGS: Radiation therapy has a proven palliative role in the treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer. Findings from 223radium clinical trials emphasize the importance of alpha particles as a new therapeutic modality in patients with bone metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. We introduce the concept of alpha-emitting particles from both a basic and clinical perspective in the realm of bone-targeted radiopharmaceuticals and discuss how these agents compare and contrast with conventional beta-emitting radioisotopes. The physics, radiobiology, and survival data with 223radium are unique compared with previously used radiopharmaceuticals.

SUMMARY: Targeted alpha-emitting therapies such as 223radium have the capacity to change the way we treat patients with bone-metastatic prostate cancer.

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