Radium-223 dichloride bone-targeted alpha particle therapy for hormone-refractory breast cancer metastatic to bone

Amol Takalkar, Scott Adams, Vivek Subbiah
Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2014, 3: 23

BACKGROUND: Hormone-refractory breast cancer metastatic to bone is a clinically challenging disease associated with high morbidity, poor prognosis, and impaired quality of life owing to pain and skeletal-related events. In a preclinical study using a mouse model of breast cancer and bone metastases, Ra-223 dichloride was incorporated into bone matrix and inhibited proliferation of breast cancer cells and differentiation of osteoblasts and osteoclasts (all P values < .001) in vitro. Ra-223 dichloride also induced double-strand DNA breaks in cancer cells in vivo.

METHODS: The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved radium-223 (Ra-223) dichloride (Ra-223; Xofigo injection) alpha-particle therapy for the treatment of symptomatic bone metastases in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. On the basis of a strong preclinical rationale, we used Ra-223 dichloride to treat bone metastases in a patient with breast cancer.

RESULTS: A 44-year-old white woman with metastatic breast cancer who was estrogen receptor-positive, BRCA1-negative, BRCA2-negative, PIK3CA mutation (p.His1047Arg) positive presented with diffuse bony metastases and bone pain. She had hormone refractory and chemotherapy refractory breast cancer. After Ra-223 therapy initiation her bone pain improved, with corresponding decrease in tumor markers and mixed response in (18)F-FDG PET/CT and (18)F-NaF bone PET/CT. The patient derived clinical benefit from therapy.

CONCLUSION: We have shown that Ra-223 dichloride can be safely administered in a patient with hormone-refractory bone metastasis from breast cancer at the US FDA-approved dose for prostate cancer. Furthermore, because the treatment did not cause any drop in hematologic parameters, it has the potential to be combined with other radiosensitizing therapies, which may include chemotherapy or targeted therapies. Given that Ra-223 dichloride is already commercially available, this case report may help future patients and provide a rationale for initiating clinical research in the use of Ra-223 dichloride to treat bone metastasis from breast cancer. A randomized clinical trial is needed to provide evidence of efficacy, safety, and good outcomes.

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