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New drug proving effective in attacking advanced prostate cancer

INDIANAPOLIS, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center today (June 17) is the first medical facility in Indiana to use a new drug to treat men with advanced prostate cancer.

It's called Xofigo®, a radiopharmaceutical used in patients with late-stage, metastatic disease that has spread to the bones. It recently was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

As prostate cancer progresses to advanced stages it may become castration-resistant, which has become resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone. About 90 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer will develop bone metastases.

"Most men with castration-resistant prostate cancer develop bone metastases, which can decrease overall survival," said Michael Eaton, MD, PhD, radiation oncologist, who performed the procedure. "Xofigo has actually demonstrated an ability to extend survival compared to existing treatment options."

Treatment is administered six times over a four-week period by intravenous injection. The drug binds with minerals in the bone to deliver radiation directly to bone tumors, limiting damage to the surrounding normal tissues.

"Treatment with Xofigo is well-tolerated by patients and results in minimal side effects," Eaton said. "It is encouraging to have a new treatment option for men."

Xofigo was developed by the Norwegian company Algeta ASA, in a partnership with Bayer.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About one in six will be diagnosed with it during his lifetime.

More than 238,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2013 with over 29,000 men dying from the disease, ACS predicts.

With hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel, Franciscan St. Francis Health is a member of the Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest, with 13 hospitals throughout Indiana and Illinois. The Franciscan Alliance serves a geographic area with a population of 3.7 million people, provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and completes more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year.

Joe Stuteville
Media Relations Manager
317-528-7986 (o)
317-946-9930 (c)
317- 906-0079 (pager)

SOURCE Franciscan St. Francis Health
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