MJH Using Prostate Cancer Treatment that Minimizes Pain
Advanced prostate cancer can cause a constant aching and pain in the bones. But now, cancer patients are living longer and pain-free thanks to a new treatment being used at Martha Jefferson Hospital.
It's called Xofigo. The new treatment is used when prostate cancer has spread into a patient's bones.
"I can give you extra three months with chemotherapy or three months with Xofigo, but with Xofigo you're not sick," said Dr. Charles Myers Jr., an oncologist.
Xofigo was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May. Martha Jefferson Hospital is the first in the region - and second in the state - to use the new treatment.
"They do not have early disease, their disease has already spread to the bones, these patients have a number of problems with their bones and they're generally having pain from that," said Dr. Sylvia Hendrix, a radiation oncologist.
The right candidate for the new treatment is an advanced prostate cancer patient that has already been heavily pre-treated.
Myers says the typical patient tried hormonal therapy and chemotherapy without luck. Myers says chemotherapy causes severe weakness, nausea, numbness in the hands and feet and loss of hair. But with Xofigo, there are fewer side effects.
"It preserves your ability to look normal and act normal and get pain relief and not be on morphine, so it's a huge benefit," said Myers.
The new treatment has also been shown to increase survival. It is given once a month for six months and injected into a patient's vein. A typical appointment for the treatment takes less than 15 minutes. The treatment delivers radiation directly to bone tumors by binding with minerals in the bone.
"We're excited that in these heavily pre-treated and advanced-stage patients we're able to add to not only their survival but patients are having less pain," said Hendrix.
Hendrix says she believes the new treatment will be so favorably received that hospitals everywhere will want to use it.
Martha Jefferson Hospital Press Release
Martha Jefferson First in Region to Treat Prostate Cancer with Xofigo®
Charlottesville, VA. Martha Jefferson Hospital is pleased to be providing a new treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer. Xofigo® (radium-223 dichloride) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May and is intended to be used in treatment for men whose prostate cancer has spread (or metastasized) to their bones.
"Being able to add Xofigo® to the list of treatment options for our patients further enhances the care we are able to provide our patients," said Dr. Sylvia Hendrix, a radiation oncologist at Martha Jefferson. "This new drug allows us to deliver radiation directly to bone tumors by binding with minerals in the bone. By doing this, we can spare normal surrounding tissue from significant damage, which is a huge improvement from previous solutions."
Dr. Charles Myers Jr, an oncologist with the American Institute for Disease of the Prostate, referred one of his patients to receive the first Xofigo® treatment at Martha Jefferson.
"Xofigo is a very important new treatment option for men with prostate cancer bone metastases. It is very effective at relieving bone pain and extends survival. It will allow many men to delay chemotherapy for a significant period of time," commented Dr. Myers.
Xofigo® is given once a month for six months and is injected into a patient's vein over one minute. A typical appointment for treatment lasts no longer than fifteen minutes.
Sentara CarePlex Hospital, located in Hampton, VA, was the first facility in Virginia to treat a patient with Xofigo.
For more information on Xofigo®, call Martha Jefferson Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.
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