Radium-223 is used to treat bone metastases, a common problem for men living with metastatic hormone resistant prostate cancer (MHRPC), affecting up to 90% of these patients. The development of a drug called radium-223 (brand name: Xofigo) is a substantial innovation, not only because it causes less toxicity compared to its predecessors, but also because it prolongs life.
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Cancer that spreads outside the prostate gland is what makes prostate cancer dangerous. Metastatic prostate cancer cells cause malfunction by impeding normal function. Some organs, like lymph nodes for example, continue to function quite nicely, even if the degree of cancer spread is extensive. Lymph node spread, therefore, is the least dangerous form of prostate cancer metastases. At the other end of the spectrum is the liver, which is far less tolerant. The seriousness of bone metastases, the most common site of prostate cancer spread, lies about half way between that of node metastases and liver metastases.