Huntington Memorial Hospital announced today that it is now offering a newly approved therapy that prolongs life and offers much-needed pain relief for men with advanced-stage prostate cancer. The hospital is among the first in Southern California
to offer the new drug.
“This drug is for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options and whose prostate cancer has spread to the bones,” says Kenneth Lam, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Huntington Hospital. “It has shown to not only extend life, but it improves the quality of life for patients in the final weeks and months of their prostate cancer battle.”
The drug, Xofigo (zo-FEEG-oh), is the first drug of its kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and Huntington is one of the first hospitals in the Los Angeles area to make it available. A form of internal radiation, Xofigo is given through intravenous injection once a month for six months. It moves quickly through the blood and straight to the bone where it is absorbed like calcium and specifically targets tumor cells located next to bone tissue. There are few major side effects, so the drug can even be used on older patients or patients with multiple medical conditions. For many patients pain relief is achieved in just a few days.
“Dr. Lam has been on the forefront of prostate cancer treatment for many years,” said Paula Verrette, M.D., senior vice president of quality and physician services at Huntington Hospital. “He is dedicated to ensuring that our patients receive the highest level of care available, and his introduction of this drug for our patients is just the latest example of his leadership in this area.”
With 240,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, prostate cancer is among the most common cancers affecting men in the United States. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in U.S. men, with an estimated 30,000 deaths due to prostate cancer expected to occur in 2013 alone.
The Prostate Cancer Program at Huntington Hospital provides advanced screening, diagnostic, surgical and radiation oncology services to individuals with prostate cancer. It is part of the hospital’s Cancer Center that delivers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities and leading-edge treatment options as well as care coordination and emotional support services to patients with a cancer diagnosis.