Samarium-153 lexidronam (153Sm-EDTMP) is FDA approved for painful osteoblastic bone metastases that image on bone scan. 153Sm-EDTMP decay has a therapeutic beta-emission and a gamma-photon for bone scan imaging. Monitoring of osteosarcoma radiation treatment effectiveness was performed with bone, CT, MRI and PET/CT fusion imaging. Bone scan and PET/CT improved in 5 out of 9 and 16 out of 18 osteosarcoma sites, respectively. 153Sm-EDTMP targets multiple sites of disease, with a single administration. Side effects of 153Sm-EDTMP (0.5-2.5 mCi/kg) have been minimal and include transient thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. 153Sm-EDTMP can be combined with radiation therapy, bisphosphonates and/or chemotherapy to synergistically improve palliation. This article reviews the rationale, indications and monitoring of standard-dose samarium and investigational high-dose 153Sm-EDTMP treatment of cancer involving bone.
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