Radiation therapy can be an effective means to treat bone metastases, which occur in more than 50% of cancer patients. (153)Samarium lexidronam ((153)Sm-EDTMP; Quadramet, Cytogen) is a radiopharmaceutical designed for deposition into bone metastases. Bone scans can identify patients that may benefit from targeted radiation therapy with (153)Sm-EDTMP. As an unsealed source of radiation therapy, (153)Sm-EDTMP is simple to administer: 1 mCi/kg is given in a similar fashion to a bone scan injection ((99m)Tc-MDP bone scan injection is given at 0.2-0.35 mCi/kg. Therefore, both are administered intravenously. However, the radiation-absorbed dose and radiopharmaceutical energy are different). Nevertheless, despite simplicity of administration, (153)Sm-EDTMP is underutilized for improving cancer pain in the skeleton. Repeated cycles and combined treatment with other modalities such as bisphosphonates, chemotherapy and/or external beam radiation are possible. (153)Sm-EDTMP combined with bisphosphonates, chemotherapy and/or radiation may provide better palliation of bone metastases and also in bone-forming tumors (osteosarcoma). Encouraging experience using high-dose (153)Sm-EDTMP for total marrow irradiation in hematologic malignancies involving the bones (e.g., myeloma or acute leukemia) is also reviewed.
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