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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2016 Sep;16(9):911-8. doi: 10.1080/14737140.2016.1222273. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

The safety and efficacy of radium-223 dichloride for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

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a Departments of Radiotherapy and Urology , The Royal Marsden Hospital , Sutton , UK.
b Department of Radiotherapy & Imaging , The Institute of Cancer Research , Sutton , UK.



A number of drugs have been shown to extend life expectancy in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Skeletal related events (SREs) secondary to bone metastases cause significant morbidity for men with CRPC. The α-emitting radiopharmaceutical radium-223 dichloride has been shown to improve overall survival, time to symptomatic skeletal events (SSEs) and quality of life in CRPC.


The development of radium-223 from pre-clinical studies to the evidence of efficacy and safety from a phase 3 trial is discussed as well as its pharmacokinetics and metabolism. The integration of radium-223 into routine care for patients with advanced prostate cancer is included including a comparison with other agents in this setting. Expert commentary: The risk/benefit ratio for radium-223 is very similar to that of other agents used in the CRPC setting and is a treatment option for men unsuitable for cytotoxic chemotherapy because of comorbidities. The ALSYMPCA trial demonstrated an improvement in SSEs with radium-223. This is a clinically relevant end-point as not all radiologically-detected SREs are apparent to patients. The correct sequencing of the life-prolonging treatments available to men with CRPC is subject to debate. Radium-223 therapy should be considered before the development of visceral metastases. Drug-combination studies are underway.


223Radium; Castration-resistant prostate cancer; Radium-223 dichloride; bone metastases; symptomatic skeletal events; α-emitter

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