Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size
A
A
A

New Drug May Help Some Prostate Cancer Patients

Study found Xofigo also improved quality of life for those whose cancer had spread to the bones

continued...

"In this study, their quality of life was improved, in addition to their longer survival," she noted.

The study included 921 men with prostate cancer that had spread to the bones but not other organs. All had received standard hormonal therapy and, in some cases, the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. (Some men were not healthy enough to receive the chemo, and others did not want it.)

About 600 men were randomly assigned to have injections of Xofigo, once a month for six months; the rest were given placebo injections and standard care, including more hormonal therapy or external radiation to try to treat the bone pain.

At the time the trial was stopped, 35 percent of the Xofigo group had died, versus 46 percent of the placebo group. One-quarter of men on the drug reported a "meaningful" improvement in their quality of life, compared with 16 percent of the placebo group.

There were side effects. Anywhere from 18 percent to 36 percent of men suffered nausea, diarrhea, constipation or fatigue; but most of those symptoms were just as common in the placebo group.

There were, though, more serious problems related to the body's ability to produce blood cells, which is handled by the bone marrow. Twelve percent of men on Xofigo developed thrombocytopenia, a drop in blood cells called platelets that can cause serious bleeding. That compared with 6 percent of the placebo group.

Another 5 percent of men on the drug developed neutropenia, a drop in the body's infection-fighting white blood cells.

For most men with prostate cancer, the tumor is slow-growing and never progresses to the point where it threatens their lives. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly all men with cancer confined to the prostate gland or nearby lymph nodes are still alive five years after their diagnosis -- and many can opt to delay having any treatment, and have the cancer monitored instead.

But the outlook is much more dim for men whose prostate cancer spreads to the bones or other distant sites. Only 28 percent are alive five years after their diagnosis.

Today on WebMD

man with doctor
Symptoms, risks, treatments
man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore
 
prostate cancer cells
What does this diagnosis mean?
doctor and male patient
Is it worth it?
 
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
FEATURE
 
Prostate Enlarged
VIDEO
Picture Of The Prostate
ANATOMY
 
Prostate Cancer Quiz
QUIZ
screening tests for men
SLIDESHOW
 
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
VIDEO
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW