Radium-223 in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer

Winston Vuong, Oliver Sartor, Sumanta K Pal
Asian Journal of Andrology 2014, 16 (3): 348-53
In 2004, docetaxel was approved for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). For the next several years, there was a lull in drug approvals. However, from 2010 onwards, 5 additional therapies have been approved on the basis of showing a survival benefit in phase III studies. These agents include sipuleucel-T, cabazitaxel, abiraterone, enzalutamide and (most recently) radium-223. Amongst radiopharmaceuticals currently used for advanced prostate cancer (e.g. samarium-153 and strontium-89), radium-223 possesses several unique properties. As an alpha-emitting compound, the agent produces a high-energy output over a short range, facilitating selective destruction of tissue within the bone in the region of osteoblastic lesions while sparing surrounding normal tissue. The current review will outline biological rationale for radium-223 and also provide an overview of preclinical and clinical development of the agent. Rational sequencing of radium-223 and combinations, in the increasingly complex landscape of mCRPC will be discussed, along with factors influencing clinical implementation.

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