New Drug Therapy
Kills Cancer Cells and Relieves Pain
(Hartford, Conn. July 8, 2013) – Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center is among the first
hospitals in the nation to offer a new radioactive injection treatment for
prostate cancer patients with bone metastases.
Saint Francis, we continually strive to be at the forefront of leading-edge treatments
and technology. The addition of Radium 223 for our prostate cancer patients
helps us continue to deliver the most advanced care to our patients," said
Richard C. Shumway, M.D., Senior
Attending Physician, Radiation
Oncology at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
Approved by the FDA in May, Xofigo®
(radium Ra 223 dichloride) is targeted toward men with advanced prostate cancer
whose disease has spread to the bone but not to other organs. The treatment is
administered by intravenous injection every four weeks for six months, for a
total of six IV treatments. Each treatment takes about 60 seconds and patients
are able to leave after a 20-minute visit.
Saint Francis is only one of two hospitals
in Connecticut currently offering the new treatment to patients.
Xofigo® is injected into
the vein and collects in the bone. The radiation produced by the drug kills the
cancer cells and reduces pain caused by bone metastases. Spread of cancer to the bones can also result in other
problems, such as fractures (breaks) or high blood calcium levels, which can be
dangerous and even life-threatening.
“This is a very
promising new treatment,” said Alessia Donadio, M.D., Medical Oncologist at
Saint Francis. “Early results have shown improved overall survival rates and
According to the American Cancer Society,
prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer), but it
can often be treated successfully. The ACS estimates that 238,590 new cases of
prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year and approximately 29,720 men will
die of prostate cancer. About one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate
cancer during his lifetime. Nearly two thirds are diagnosed in men aged 65 or
older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis
is about 67.
Xofigo® is co-marketed in the United States by Wayne, NJ-based Bayer Pharmaceuticals
and Algeta US of Cambridge, MA.
Saint Francis Care
Francis Care is an integrated
healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical
Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897. Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is
a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New
England. Other major entities of Saint
Francis Care include The Mount Sinai
Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the
Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount
Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for
Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint
Francis HealthCare Partners. Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent
organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and
Home and Community Health Services is also a Saint Francis Care Partner. Saint Francis Care’s services are supported by a
network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office
centers sited throughout the region. For
more information, visit www.stfranciscare.com.