EANM guideline for radionuclide therapy with radium-223 of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2018 May;45(5):824-845. doi: 10.1007/s00259-017-3900-4. Epub 2017 Dec 12.


Radium Ra-223 dichloride (radium-223, Xofigo®) is a targeted alpha therapy approved for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) with symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastatic disease. Radium-223 is the first targeted alpha therapy in this indication providing a new treatment option, with evidence of a significant survival benefit, both in overall survival and in the time to the first symptomatic skeletal-related event. The skeleton is the most common metastatic site in patients with advanced prostate cancer. Bone metastases are a clinically significant cause of morbidity and mortality, often resulting in bone pain, pathologic fracture, or spinal cord compression necessitating treatment. Radium-223 is selectively accumulated in the bone, specifically in areas of high bone turnover, by forming complexes with the mineral hydroxyapatite (the inorganic matrix of the bone). The alpha radiation generated during the radioactive decay of radium-223 produces a palliative anti-tumour effect on the bone metastases. The purpose of this guideline is to assist nuclear medicine specialists in evaluating patients who might be candidates for treatment using radium-223, planning and performing this treatment, understanding and evaluating its consequences, and improving patient management during therapy and follow-up.

Keywords: Alpha emitters; Bone metastases; Prostate cancer; Radionuclide therapy; Radium-223; Survival benefit.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant / radiotherapy*
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radium / therapeutic use*


  • Radioisotopes
  • Radium-223
  • Radium