Radium-223, or Xofigo therapy, is used in men whose prostate cancer has spread to the bones to treat symptoms such as severe pain. Radium-223 is primarily used as a palliative treatment when prostate cancer is no longer responding to other forms of treatment. Xofigo uses the radioactive material Radium-223, which gives off radiation to kill prostate cancer cells. It localises in the affected areas of the bone where the prostate cancer metastases are rapidly growing and changing.
The Radium-223 emits alpha radiation which only travels a short-range meaning it has limited interaction with healthy tissue. Patients are generally treated with one infusion per month for 6 months. Radium-223 therapy can help extend life in advanced prostate cancer patients by more than 30%, while reducing painful symptoms.