University of Colorado Cancer Center members Christine M. Fisher, assistant professor of radiation oncology and residency program director, and Philip Koo, section chief for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, recently were awarded a $500,000 grant from Bayer to support a research study investigating a novel treatment for breast cancer patients with disease that has metastasized to bone.
The major focus of the project will be to refine treatment methods for metastatic breast cancer patients that may have a higher burden of bony disease. These tumors can act very aggressively and grow to invade surrounding normal structures in the spine, causing neurological dysfunction, pain, fractures, and other problems. In such cases, it is necessary to use local therapy such as high doses of radiation or orthopedic surgery as possible in an effort to stop debilitating local progression of the disease. However, it is difficult to treat many sites at once while protecting the bone marrow, which is a potential major advantage of Radium 223 being studied.