Tulsa Hospital 1 Of 5 In US Offering New Prostate Cancer Drug
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahoma State University Medical Center in Tulsa is one of five hospitals in the country to offer a new drug for the treatment of prostate cancer.
It doesn't cure the disease, but it is said to help men with prostate cancer live longer lives.
The drug is called Xofigo and it's administered intravenously. Doctors say it helps patients deal with the excruciating pain that comes with prostate cancer.
Benjamin Begley is currently fighting prostate cancer.
"Well, you're always hopeful. That's all one's got at this point in time," Begley said.
Begley was diagnosed in 2006. Since then, he's traveled to Houston, Dallas, Fayetteville, and Oklahoma City for treatment, but nothing seemed to make a difference.
"It's like falling off a 50-story building, and as you go past the 25th story, somebody yells out, 'Well, how you doing Ben?' and you say, 'Pretty good so far,'" Begley said. "You know what's going to happen, but so far it's been pretty good."
Begley's cancer is in his bones and causes extreme pain. He's now at the OSU Medical Center in Tulsa for a new treatment, one that's only available at four other hospitals in the United States.
It's common name is Xofigo, it's an injection of the radioactive material radium-223.
It's not a cure. Instead, it mimics calcium, helps ease the pain, and prolongs the life span.
"This is to help in that debilitating--you can't understand how much these patients hurt, okay? And that's what we're trying to do is help them with their bone pain," said nuclear radiologist Dr. Dean Fullingim.
Begley says he never questioned whether to try the new drug.
"If you had to die today or take this and live four months longer, what would you do?" Begley said.
He hopes his story helps others find the courage to keep fighting when faced with a deadly disease.
"If you aren't getting a treatment or you aren't getting an answer, you want knock on a different door," he said. "Don't give up. Keep trying."
Begley's treatment will consist of six cycles of the drug every four weeks. He's expecting it to add at least another four months to his life.