Chemotherapy following radium-223 dichloride treatment in ALSYMPCA

Oliver Sartor, Peter Hoskin, Robert E Coleman, Sten Nilsson, Nicholas J Vogelzang, Oana Petrenciuc, Karin Staudacher, Marcus Thuresson, Christopher Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Radium-223 prolongs overall survival in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and symptomatic bone metastases, regardless of prior docetaxel. Whether or not chemotherapy can be safely administered following radium-223 treatment is of clinical importance. An exploratory analysis of prospectively collected data, from the ALSYMPCA (ALpharadin in SYMptomatic Prostate CAncer) patient subgroup who received chemotherapy after radium-223 or placebo treatment, was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of chemotherapy following radium-223.

METHODS: In ALSYMPCA, CRPC patients with symptomatic bone metastases and no visceral metastases were randomized 2:1 to receive six injections of radium-223 (50 kBq/kg IV) or placebo plus best standard of care, stratified by prior docetaxel, baseline alkaline phosphatase, and current bisphosphonate use. In this exploratory analysis, chemotherapy agents administered following study treatment were identified; timing and duration were calculated. Hematologic safety was reviewed, and overall survival analyzed.

RESULTS: Overall, 142 radium-223 and 64 placebo patients received subsequent chemotherapy; most common were docetaxel (70% radium-223, 72% placebo) and mitoxantrone (16% radium-223, 20% placebo). The majority of patients (61% radium-223, 58% placebo) had received prior docetaxel. Radium-223 patients started subsequent chemotherapy later than placebo patients; chemotherapy duration was similar between groups. In radium-223 and placebo patients receiving subsequent chemotherapy, median hematologic values (hemoglobin, neutrophils, and platelets) remained nearly constant up to 18 months following start of chemotherapy, regardless of prior docetaxel treatment. A low percentage of patients in both groups had grades 3-4 hematologic values (<10%). Platelet count decline, from last measurement before chemotherapy, was numerically greater in radium-223 versus placebo patients. Median overall survivals from start of chemotherapy were 16.0 and 15.8 months following radium-223 and placebo, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Chemotherapy following radium-223, regardless of prior docetaxel, is feasible and appears to be well tolerated in patients with CRPC and symptomatic bone metastases. Prostate 76:905-916, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. The Prostate published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-16
Number of pages12
Issue number10
Early online date23 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Bone Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Docetaxel
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/mortality
  • Radioisotopes/therapeutic use
  • Radium/therapeutic use
  • Survival Rate
  • Taxoids/therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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