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First Phase III trial of an alpha-pharmaceutical
Date:9/23/2011

y limited elsewhere."

The researchers chose to study the drug in patients with prostate cancer because of its high tendency to metastasise to bone. Around 90% of all men with prostate cancer will develop bone metastases in the advanced stage, and in many cases there are not detectable metastases elsewhere in the body. The safety profile of radium-223 was found to be highly favourable, the researchers say.

"Compared to chemotherapy, which affects all the tissues of the body, radium-223 is highly targeted to the bone metastases, and it has a completely different safety profile," said Dr Parker.

Side effects with radium-223 are minor. It can cause nausea, and occasional loose bowel movements, and there is a very small effect on the bone marrow. "Although it has never been rigorously compared with chemotherapy, from observing patients in the clinic it is clear that patients tolerate it much better than they do chemotherapy," Dr. Parker said.

The researchers now intend to submit the data for regulatory approval. "I would hope that the authorities will approve radium-223 as a treatment for bone metastases in advanced prostate cancer soon," said Dr. Parker. "This is a common cancer the second commonest cancer killer in men in the UK and so it's a big disease burden. We urgently need effective treatment for it.

"I have no doubt that there will be further trials looking at a combination of radium-223 with other drugs that are currently used in prostate cancer, and that there will also be studies using radium earlier in the disease. In particular, our research was restricted to those men who were not going to receive chemotherapy for prostate cancer. It would be interesting to use radium-223 chloride before chemotherapy, since it might be even more effective in that setting.

"Additionally, the drug could be used in many other types of cancers which metastasise to bone, regardless of the primary site. We believe that
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary.rice@riceconseil.eu
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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