Patient Selection for Radium-223 Therapy in Patients With Bone Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: New Recommendations and Future Perspectives

Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2019 Apr;17(2):79-87. doi: 10.1016/j.clgc.2018.11.008. Epub 2018 Nov 22.


Radium-223 therapy was registered in 2013 as a new life-prolonging therapeutic option for patients with symptomatic bone metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer after the phase 3 ALSYMPCA study. Postregistration reports on the use of radium-223 in real-world populations demonstrate that appropriate selection of patients for radium-223 therapy is challenging. While primarily retrospective and post hoc studies identified prognostic variables associated with overall survival, validated predictive biomarkers are still lacking. Important pretherapeutic prognostic variables include the number of prior therapies, baseline Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, baseline extent of bone metastatic disease, and baseline alkaline phosphatase, prostate-specific antigen, and lactate dehydrogenase levels. We reviewed the currently available literature to provide recommendations on patient selection for radium-223 therapy in patients with bone metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. In addition, the recent evidence from the report of the European Medicines Agency's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee regarding the restricted use of radium-223 after interim data analysis of the ERA-223 trial has been incorporated into our recommendations. Future perspectives are also discussed, including radium-223 re-treatment, the use of concomitant therapies, and the implementation of pretherapeutic molecular analysis for treatment stratification.

Keywords: Alpha emitter; Molecular stratification; Overall survival; Prognostic variables; Radiopharmaceutical.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant / radiotherapy*
  • Radium / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Radium-223
  • Radium