Australian Government - Department of Health

Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC)

1268 - Radium 223 for the treatment of patients with symptomatic castrate resistant prostate cancer with skeletal metastases

Application Number

Application NameRadium 223 for the treatment of patients with symptomatic castrate resistant prostate cancer with skeletal metastases
Description of Medical ServiceRadium 223, which is an injection, is an alpha emitting pharmaceutical (alpha-pharmaceutical). This product naturally targets bone metastases due to its calcium-mimicking properties. The bone targeting property of radium-223 is similar to that of other earth alkaline elements, like strontium-89. However, the radiation characteristics of an alpha-particle emitting radionuclide seem to be more advantageous than a beta-emitting radionuclide. Radium-223, with a physical half-life of 11.4 days, emits high linear energy transfer alpha radiation, with a range limited to less than 100 micrometers, and can thus be used to generate localised radiation zones. An alpha-emitting radiation source located in a target tissue, such as skeletal metastases, will deliver the radiation to a more localised volume, thereby reducing exposure of surrounding normal tissues.
Description of Medical ConditionProstate cancer cell growth is stimulated by male hormones (androgens), in particular testosterone and its metabolite dihydro-testosterone. Therefore, patients may be treated by androgen deprivation to reduce levels of male hormones available to cancer cells. Androgen deprivation can be achieved surgically (castration), or medically using hormone therapy.

Unfortunately, patients ultimately stop responding to hormone therapy and are then referred to as having hormone-refractory or androgen-independent prostate cancer.

The most common site of cancer spread in men with hormone refractory prostate cancer is bone. Development of bone metastases is a major problem in prostate cancer and is a serious threat to a patient’s survival and quality of life. Untreated patients face severe morbidity, including bone pain, bone fracture, compression of the spinal cord and haematological consequences of bone marrow involvement. If treated successfully, these symptoms may be palliated and patients may also gain a survival benefit.
Consultation Protocol28 May 2012 – 5 July 2012
Consultation Decision Analytic Protocol (DAP) - PDF
Consultation Decision Analytic Protocol (DAP) - Accessible Word version
Final Protocol 16-17 August 2012
PDF version - Final Decision Analytic Protocol (updated) (PDF 1158 KB)
Word version - Final Decision Analytic Protocol (updated) (Word 681 KB)
ReportsSubmission Report withheld at the request of the applicant.
MSAC OutcomesPDF Version Public Summary Document (PDF 226 KB)
Word Version Public Summary Document (Word 458 KB)

Meetings for this Application

Meeting Type:Date:
PASC12 – 13 April 2012
16 – 17 August 2012
ESC 13 – 14 February 2014
MSAC 3 – 4 April 2014

Page currency, Latest update: 16 April, 2015