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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

It's the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and too often, men find out they have prostate cancer after it has spread.

But nowa new treatmentfor advanced-stage prostate cancer has been approvedand it was tested in New Orleans.

When prostate cancer spreads to the bones, the outlook is not good for men. Sadlythe patient, a doctor, whose scan we were shown, did not make it.

Men with advanced prostate cancergetting the current treatments only live, on average, about 18 months. But now there is new hope.

'This is a very novel, we call it alpha emitter, and there's never been one in medicine before,' explained Dr. Oliver Sartor, Director of the Tulane Cancer Center and a specialist in advanced prostate cancer.'So, it's a radiopharmaceutical that goes to bone but it knows where the cancers there, is in the bone.And it specifically radiates the areas where the cancer is in bone.'

Nearlyfour years ago, Medical Watch took you exclusively to theTulane Cancer Center whereSartor was the principal investigator in NorthAmerica for a worldwide study testing a radioactive IV drug.

It was the first center to open,enrolling more advanced prostate cancer patients than any other NorthAmerican site.Patients came from all over theUnited States to join the study. Now the testing is done and the drug isFDA approved.

'The people who gotsix doseslived longer, had a reduction in pain and actually had fewer adverse events than the placebo group did,' Sartor said. 'So, pretty remarkable, not only efficacious but also very well-tolerated.'

Tulanecould have the first patient to use the new treatment.A dose ofXofigoalready has been ordered fromNorway, which has the only reactor in the world to make it.

But this breakthrough comes with an important message - get yearly screenings because there are no signs or symptoms inearly stageprostate cancer.

'If you find it early, then you may or may not need to be treated,' Sartor said.'And one of the nicemessages about prostate cancer is when you find it early, you have choices and if you find it late, youdon't have choices.'

Sartor supportsPSA screenings, which are blood tests, beginning at age 45 for people with a family history andAfricanAmericans who are at high risk. He also said men should havean annualphysical exam (digital rectal exam)of the prostate starting at age 50.

All of this should be in conjunction with your doctor's opinion of your specific case and medical history.

For more on this new drug callTulane 504-988-7869.The drug website is www.Xofigo.com.

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