New injections help prostate cancer patients temper pain

AURORA, Colo. - A new type of injection recently approved by the FDA is helping prostate cancer patients manage their chronic pain.

Golfing is David Sutton's passion. But the pain became too intense for him to enjoy his favorite pastime.

"I screamed and yelled every time I hit a golf ball from the pain from my hip and my spine and shoulders," Sutton said. "Life wasn’t worth it basically for the pain I was going through."

This summer, Sutton became the first person in Colorado to try a new type of treatment that helps prostate cancer patients manage the pain they suffer. Sutton has had several injections of Radium 223.

"Within six hours, I was totally pain-free," Sutton said. "I had no skeletal or muscular pain whatsoever.

"It hasn’t helped my golf swing at all. But I’m totally pain-free and basically able to have a life now."

Dr. Elaine Lam of University of Colorado Hospital oversaw Sutton's series of injections. She said prostate cancer patients often suffer from chronic pain in their bones.

"It is a bone-seeking treatment and searching for areas that are metastasizing," Lam said. "It is very exciting. I think what we are always after is a balance whenever we give any type of therapy a balance between side effects from the treatment itself compared to the benefit its able to give patients."

Lam said during the clinical trials, researchers found patients with terminal cases were surviving longer with the Radium 223 injections.

"I think it is a very exciting time in cancer therapy and cancer research," Lam said. "And by and large, we are moving towards a day where we can develop even more personalized treatments for individual cancers."

For more information about the treatment, visit the University of Colorado Cancer Center website at: http://www.uch.edu/conditions/cancer/