Ra-223 dichloride is a first-in-class alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical recently introduced into clinical practice for treatment of men with Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC) and symptomatic bone metastases. Due to the proven benefit on Overall Survival and the favorable toxicity profile, Ra-223 therapy is gaining widespread use in both US and Europe. In this article, we describe the routinary management of patients undergoing Ra-223 treatment in our Institution.
Currently, Ra-223 therapy is indicated for 6 intravenous injections (55 kBq per kg of body weight) administered every 28 days. In comparison to other radiopharmaceuticals, Ra-223 handling and administration do not need any additional training for authorized users. Due to the minimal external dose rate emission, Ra-223 dichloride can be delivered in an outpatient setting. Moreover, no particular precautions other than standard hygiene measures must be taken by patients’ family members or caregivers. Ra-223 therapy is associated to a favorable hematologic toxicity profile, while non-hematologic adverse events are generally mild and easy to manage.
Given the favorable toxicity profile of this treatment, clinical trials are currently ongoing to evaluate efficacy and safety of Ra-223 treatment in combination or sequence with recently approved drugs such as abiraterone acetate, enzalutamide and sipuleucel-T. In addition, the recent interest in Ra-223 bone lesion dosimetry could open the way to a dosimetric-based therapeutic approach with Ra-223. In this new scenario, results of these promising clinical trials may help clarifying the optimal sequencing of new therapeutic possibilities for metastatic CRPC and the appropriate eligibility criteria for Ra-223 treatment in oncologic patients.
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