SAN DIEGO, CA USA (UroToday.com) - Metastases to the bone are found in > 90% of men with castration resistant prostate cancer. Thus, Radium 223, a first-in-class, alpha-emitting pharmaceutical agent, has garnered excitement as a new treatment option imparting a survival advantage in this patient population.
ALSYMPCA is an international Phase III clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ra-223 in patients with castration resistant prostate cancer, refractory prostate cancer, and skeletal metastasis. Michael Tomblyn and colleagues reported on pain and quality-of-life (QoL) analysis from the ALSYMPCA trial with a focus on opiate use.
Baseline pain characteristics were similar between treatment groups. Those treated with Ra-223 utilized opioids for pain relief less often and later in the course of the disease. Improvement in QoL was measured by the FACT-P total score. Compared with men from the placebo group (16%), a significantly higher percentage of patients treated with Ra-223 reported improved QoL (25%).
The authors conclude that Ra-223 improves not only survival, but also quality of life, while reducing pain and opioid use. In combination with the survival advantages seen with Ra-223, this novel agent represents a possible new standard in the treatment of men with bony metastases from advanced prostate cancer.
Presented by Michael Tomblyn, Sten Nilsson, Nicholas Vogelzang, A. Oliver Sartor, Paul Cislo, Renilt Van Gool, Anne-Kirsti Aksnes, and Chris Parker at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting - May 4 - 8, 2013 - San Diego Convention Center - San Diego, California USA
Reported for UroToday.com by Anthony T. Corcoran, MD