Strontium-89 (Metastron®) and Samarium-153 (Quadramet®) Therapies for Bone Metastases

Strontium-89 (Metastron®) and Samarium-153 (Quadramet®) therapies are similar to each other and used to relieve bone pain in patients with advanced prostate or breast cancer that has travelled to the bone. It has not been shown to prolong survival of patients.

Metastron® and Quadramet® are both similar in their form to calcium, like the calcium found in food. They get taken up in the bones, but mainly in the bone metastases which use a lot of calcium as they develop. The radiation helps destroy the metastases. The radiation is quite localised, so the rest of the normal bone is usually not affected. In some cases the bone marrow can be affected, but this is monitored by the doctors and can be treated if it happens.

Both therapies are carried out on an outpatient basis in the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Patients are required to attend an appointment a week or so before the planned therapy, where a Nuclear Medicine doctor will ensure that they are fit for therapy. At this appointment they will decide which therapy is most suitable for a particular patient. They are both given as a single injection.

The therapy appointment will last approximately 30 minutes, with a 30 minute delay before the appointment while the injection is being prepared. Patients are free to go home afterwards, but will be issued with a radiation protection advice card by a Medical Physicist. Since the radioisotope is radioactive, a few simple precautions will be required after the therapy. This will be discussed at the pre-therapy appointment.

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