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Strontium-90 radionuclide therapy relieves metastatic bone pain


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Radionuclide Therapy Alleviates Bone Pain in Prostate Cancer Patients

Elsevier Global Medical News. 2011 Nov 16, S Freeman

PARIS (EGMN) - Radionuclide therapy can alleviate painful bone metastases in 63%-75% of men with prostate cancer, reducing the need for narcotic analgesics, according to the results of an 841-patient, retrospective, single-center study.


For the past 18 years, Dr. Pecking of the department of nuclear medicine at Hôpital René Huguenin has been using radionuclide therapy with strontium-89 chloride to treat patients with painful bone metastases.

A bone-targeting, beta-emitting radionuclide, strontium-89 chloride (Metastron) is deposited in metabolically active regions of bone. It has a long half-life (more than 50 days); after a single infused dose of 148 MBq - the equivalent of about 9 Gy of radiation - about 80% is retained in the tumor at 100 days.

The rationale for using strontium-89 is that many patients suffer from painful bone metastases despite using current therapies, which includes narcotic analgesics, hormonal treatments, chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, and external beam radiotherapy.


The researchers studied the records of 841 patients with a median age of 73 years. Dr. Pecking reported that if there was a partial response or if the patient relapsed after a complete response to strontium-89, a second infusion was given to 268 men (median age, 71 years) and a third to 86 men (median age, 70 years). Patients who received one or two infusions had 12-16 metastatic sites, of which about 4 were painful, whereas those who needed three doses had about 7 painful sites.

The full article is here:


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Strontium-90 is available in Australia.

I don't know about current costs, which may be covered, but upon it's introduction in the 1990s, it cost $2,000 per dose.

Your radiologist may consider a further 2 repeat doses, especially if you have a number of painful sites.

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