First North American patient receives experimental drug to treat breast cancer
The first North American patient to be treated with Radium 223
(Xofigo®) or placebo for a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis, has
started treatment at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, as part of an innovative clinical research study.
Radium 223 (Xofigo®) was FDA approved approximately one year ago to
treat prostate cancer, resistant to medical or surgical treatments that
lower testosterone and has spread to bones, but not to other parts of
the body. Doctors are currently searching for other cancer fighting
applications for this investigational drug, beyond prostate cancers.
Physician’s Clinic of Iowa oncologists William Fusselman, MD, Rasa Buntinas, MD, and Bharat Jengiri, MD, are the principal cooperators in
the study. Dr. Fusselman serves as the principal investigator while Dr.
Buntinas is the enrolling provider for this patient. The patient did not
respond to standard breast cancer therapies, and, after meeting the
requirements of the world-wide study, was approved and provided informed
consent to receive the investigational drug through the clinical trial.
Dr. Buntinas will closely monitor the patient’s health and well-being
during the study.
Clinical trials are not new to Cedar Rapids, however, there is a
pervasive myth that investigational drugs are only available in large
academic settings. This particular trial is available through a
partnership among PCI, the Helen G Nassif Community Cancer Center and
UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital. Each entity has a role in the patient’s