The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has furthered its recommendation of radium-233 for men with prostate cancer and bone metastases to include those who have relapsed following hormone therapy and are not suitable for docetaxel chemotherapy.
Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at Nice, said: “I am pleased we have been able to broaden our recommendations for radium-223. Patients with prostate cancer will surely benefit from this drug being available for routine NHS use."
Radium-233, marketed by Bayer as Xofigo, is an internal radiotherapy that is taken up into bones in a similar fashion to calcium.
Given the raised metabolic and proliferative profiles of cancer cells, they incorporate a higher dose of radium
There, the alpha radiation emitted causes the cancer cells to die.
The lack of absorption by healthy cells gives this treatment a very low toxicity profile.
Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said “It is fantastic news that NICE has reversed its previous decision on radium-223 so that men who are too frail to be given chemotherapy can now benefit from the treatment on the NHS in England and Wales.Today’s announcement brings us in line with Scotland, where radium-223 is already an option for men with advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bone, and expands the still limited number of treatment options available to patients.
He added “This is an exciting and innovative example of a smarter, kinder treatment – specifically targeting bone metastasis and prolonging survival, while reducing the pain and discomfort brought about by bone tumours and improving quality of life.”