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Investigational drug for prostate cancer available at IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care

An IU Health Goshen Hospital Release An Cancer Release

Investigational drug for prostate cancer available at IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care
July 17, 2012

GOSHEN, Ind.—Patients with advanced prostate cancer that has spread to their bones have new hope now that IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care (CCC) has been named an “expanded access” program site for the investigational drug Alpharadin (radium-223 chloride). The Goshen Center for Cancer Care is the only site in the Midwest offering this drug. Alpharadin—a radioactive intravenous injection—is considered the last, best hope to extend the life of a person suffering from metastatic prostate cancer.

“This is an exciting development for us and for our patients,” says Dr. Houman Vaghefi, a radiation oncologist with the CCC. “Before now, a person living in Goshen would have to travel to Louisiana or Nevada or Pennsylvania to receive this treatment, which must be administered every four weeks for six cycles. That is a real hardship for people, especially those suffering from this disease.”

“Expanded access” means an investigational drug—currently being assessed via clinical trials—is available at select sites for patients with life-threatening illness who do not qualify for a clinical trial yet have no other therapeutic options for the disease. FDA regulations allow expanded access—or “compassionate use”—for certain drugs prior to FDA approval. Patients receiving a compassionate use drug benefit from early access to a promising treatment at no cost.

“These patients have tried all other available therapeutic options,” says Dr. Vaghefi. “Hormone therapies have not worked. Chemotherapy has not worked. Alpharadin gives them a chance at an extended life and a higher quality of life, as this drug is well-tolerated with few side effects.”

Alpharadin, licensed by Bayer, was granted Fast Track Designation by the FDA which, according to the FDA’s website, is a process designed to “expedite the review of drugs to treat serious diseases and fill an unmet medical need. The purpose is to get important new drugs to the patient earlier.”

“To be on the front lines of something like this is a testament to our physicians and our reputation as a leader in cancer treatment in America,” says Susan Franger, vice president for cancer services at IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care. “Research is an important part of our program; very few hospitals our size have such a robust research component. Paired with our clinical excellence and patient-centered approach, we’re a tremendous resource for cancer patients.”

The program begins later this summer; the Center for Cancer Care is accepting candidates for treatment immediately. Call 866-561-4673 for consideration.

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IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care is a nationally recognized, award-winning leader in innovative cancer treatment. The Center pioneered the collaborative, patient-centered approach to cancer care in this region and continues to excel in this integrated approach. IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care provides medical, radiation, nuclear, surgical, and naturopathic oncology, and clinical treatment is combined with care from specially trained dietitians and counselors. The Center places a premium on family involvement and spiritual needs, encouraging patients to play a decision-making role in treatment selection. The Survivor Network helps to coordinate the process from admission through recovery. IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care is involved in, and sponsors, a number of clinical trials.
 

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