New Radiation Pill Slams Cancer Cells

Patients have 30% lower death rate
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2011 5:09 PM CDT
New Radiation Pill Helps Prostrate Cancer Sufferers

(Newser) – Doctors in London have stopped a cancer drug trial because it was so successful, the Telegraph reports. They said it would have been "unethical" to give any of the 922 participants a placebo for their prostate cancer. The drug in the trial targets tumors with alpha radiation, which the doctors say is effective because it damages tumors more than typical beta particles, and causes less harm to surrounding tissue.

Patients taking the drug, called Radium-223 Chloride—or Alpharadin TM—had a 30% lower death rate than the placebo-users and experienced less pain and side effects, the BBC reports. The researchers will now submit their work to regulators for approval. "This research looks very promising and could be an important addition to approaches available to treat secondary tumors—and should be investigated further," says a radiologist at Cancer Research UK. (Read more prostate cancer stories.)

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