13 March 2014
The drug radium 223 (Xofigo) has been called a game changer in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer.
It selectively targets cancer cells in the bone but causes minimal damage to healthy surrounding cells. In a recent international clinical trial, this highly-targeted treatment was shown to significantly improve the survival and quality of life of castration-resistant patients with bone-metastatic disease (i.e., men whose hormone therapy has stopped working and whose cancer has spread to the bones).
Xofigo was approved by the FDA in the United States in May 2013 and is current awaiting review by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC). If it is approved, it can be listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), making it available to all Australian men.
PCFA has called for the prostate cancer community across Australia to lobby the MSAC to approve Xofigo when it next meets in April, 2014.
Chief Executive Dr Anthony Lowe launched a consumer advocacy campaign encouraging men and their families to write letters of support to the chair of the MSAC and their local member of parliament.
"Bone pain can be a continuous and debilitating side effect to those who have castration-resistant prostate cancer," Dr Lowe said.
"Clinical studies have shown that Xofigo can improve quality of life in patients suffering from bone metastasis. Currently there are approximately 22,000 men in Australia living with advanced prostate cancer, and they could all potentially benefit from access to this treatment."
PCFA is committed to reducing the impact of prostate cancer on the Australian community and ensuring men diagnosed with prostate cancer have the best available treatment options available to them throughout their prostate cancer journey.