A new study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic shows that samarium-153 lexidronam (Quadramet), approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 for the treatment of pain in patients with metastatic bone lesions, can be used at higher doses to treat osteosarcoma. The results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (20:189-196, 2002).
According to the study, 24 of 30 patients undergoing treatment with samarium-153 lexidronam experienced good to excellent results in delaying local progression of their disease. All patients in the study had failed two or more previous therapies and had multiple sites of bone cancer. In two patients, the cancer had been in complete remission for more than 2 years following treatment.
"Quadramet is an effective treatment option in helping to relieve the pain often experienced by patients with metastatic bone cancer. We are very encouraged by these early results that indicate Quadramet may also be useful in the treatment of osteosarcoma," said H. Joseph Reiser, PhD, president and CEO of Cytogen, manufacturer of the radiopharmaceutical agent.
Osteosarcoma occurs most often in teenagers and is twice as common in males as in females. Standard treatment for osteosarcoma consists of surgery or chemotherapy. "In some patients, surgery or chemotherapy cannot adequately control osteosarcoma. These study results indicate that Quadramet could be a new treatment option for patients who would otherwise have a poor prognosis," said Peter Anderson, MD, PhD, a pediatric oncologist at the Mayo Clinic.
Primary bone cancers commonly result in the formation of new bone regardless of whether the tumor remains confined to the skeleton or has spread to soft tissues such as the lung. Samarium-153 lexidronam targets these areas of new bone formation, delivering site-specific radiation.