Dr. Sartor on the Mechanism of Action of Radium-223

Oliver Sartor, MD
Published: Friday, Jul 12, 2013

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, the medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center, describes the mechanism of action of radium-223, which was recently approved to treat patients with bone metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Radium-223 is unlike any other drug, Sartor believes. It is an alpha-emitter, which is a unique form of radiation that is highly energetic with a short range. As such, radium-223 is capable of delivering a high dose of radiation therapy in a very focused way.

Additionally, Sartor adds, as a calcium mimetic, radium-223 binds to osteoblastic metastases. When these occur, an organic followed by an inorganic matrix is laid down. The inorganic matrix is then filled with hydroxyapatite, to which radium-223 binds. The agent does not actually bind to the tumor, Sartor notes, it does, however, bind to and irradiate the regions around the tumor, initiating an antitumor effect.

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, the medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center, describes the mechanism of action of radium-223, which was recently approved to treat patients with bone metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Radium-223 is unlike any other drug, Sartor believes. It is an alpha-emitter, which is a unique form of radiation that is highly energetic with a short range. As such, radium-223 is capable of delivering a high dose of radiation therapy in a very focused way.

Additionally, Sartor adds, as a calcium mimetic, radium-223 binds to osteoblastic metastases. When these occur, an organic followed by an inorganic matrix is laid down. The inorganic matrix is then filled with hydroxyapatite, to which radium-223 binds. The agent does not actually bind to the tumor, Sartor notes, it does, however, bind to and irradiate the regions around the tumor, initiating an antitumor effect.


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