When prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized it) most often spreads to the bones. Xofigo (zo-FEEG-oh) is an intravenous (IV) injection of the radioactive material radium 223. It is used to treat prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has spread to a patient’s bones with symptoms, but not to other parts of your body. The medical term for this condition is metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, or mCRPC.
Xofigo goes directly to the bone, giving off strong energy that helps kill cancer cells, but does limited damage to nearby healthy cells. It can be absorbed by organs other than the bone, primarily the bone marrow and digestive system, which can result in side effects in those healthy tissues. These treatments may help slow the spread of cancer. Some of them will also lessen symptoms patients may be experiencing.
Xofigo contains the radioactive material radium 223. Radium and calcium have similar chemical properties. Xofigo goes to areas in your bones that are quickly growing, just like calcium does. Bone metastases are one of those rapidly growing areas.
Once at the metastases, the radiation from Xofigo gives off a strong energy that travels a very short distance. This radiation is deadly to the cancer cells in your bones but does limited damage to nearby healthy cells. Xofigo can be absorbed by organs other than bone, primarily the bone marrow and digestive system, which can result in side effect in those health tissues.