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Press Releases

Holy Name Medical Center Introduces Radium 223, Xofigo®, Novel Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Date: 10/2/2013

Holy Name Medical Center's Cancer Center announces today the introduction of Xofigo® (radium 223 dichloride) for the treatment of select patients with advanced prostate cancer.  Holy Name is the only Bergen county facility offering this break through treatment.

In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xofigo® (radium Ra 223 dichloride) for the treatment of patients with bone metastasis who have hormone-resistant prostate cancer. Hormone-resistant prostate cancer, also known as androgen-insensitive or castration-resistant prostate cancer is defined by disease progression despite androgen-deprivation therapy and may present as one or any combination of a continuous rise in serum levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), progression of pre-existing disease, or appearance of new metastases.

Prognosis is associated with several factors, including performance status, presence of bone pain, extent of disease on bone scan, and serum levels of alkaline phosphatase. Bone metastases will occur in 90% of men with hormone resistant prostate cancer and can produce significant morbidity, including pain, pathologic fractures, spinal cord compression, and bone marrow failure.

Xofigo's active ingredient, radium 223 dichloride (radium 223) is an alpha particle-emitting radioactive therapeutic agent which undermines the development and growth of tumors on bone metastases. The treatment is administered intravenously once per month for 6 months. Xofigo is the first and only alpha particle-emitting radioactive therapeutic agent approved by the FDA that has demonstrated improvement in overall survival and delay in time to first symptomatic skeletal event compared to placebo.  The new treatment emits low levels of alpha particle radiation, sparing and exposing little surrounding tissue due to small depth of penetration.

"Xofigo is an important new treatment added to our robust nuclear therapeutics program," says Benjamin Rosenbluth, MD, Director of Radiation Oncology at Holy Name Medical Center. "We provide the patients of Bergen County with leading-edge treatments for a broad range of cancers and are proud to play a significant role in the development and delivery of important new breakthrough treatments as part of Holy Name Medical Center." states Charles Vialotti, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Holy Name.

Xofigo has the advantages of enabling a better quality of life, pain relief, prolonged survival and fewer side effects for the appropriate men with castration resistant prostate cancer. According to Jacqueline Brunetti, MD, Director of Radiology at Holy Name, "Xofigo represents a significant advance in the current armamentarium of hormonal, chemotherapeutic and immunotherapy options available to men with castration-resistant prostate cancer.  Holy Name Medical Center, as the only facility in Bergen County to offer this new targeted therapy, is a clear demonstration of our commitment to providing cutting-edge therapies for our patients."