This information will help you get ready for your Xofigo treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK).
Xofigo is a medication used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to your bone. It can help prevent symptoms caused by the cancer in your bones.
Xofigo is a radioactive targeted therapy. This means that it has 2 main parts: a radioactive part and a tumor-targeted part.
- The tumor-targeted part helps the medication fight just the tumor cells, not your normal cells. This helps keep the medication from damaging healthy parts of your body.
- The radioactive part uses radiation (waves of energy) to damage and kill the tumor cells.
Xofigo is given as an intravenous (IV) injection. An IV injection is when medication is put into your vein through an IV line.
Planning Your Xofigo Treatment
Before you get Xofigo, you will have an appointment with a healthcare provider in the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service (MITS). This is sometimes called the Nuclear Medicine service. You may need to have a blood test before your appointment. If you do, a MITS staff member will give you more information.
During your appointment, your MITS provider will ask you about your medical history and talk with you about the goals of Xofigo treatment. Your healthcare provider will use your medical history and the results of the blood test to see if Xofigo is right for you.
If you and your MITS provider decide that you will have Xofigo treatment, your MITS healthcare provider will review the side effects with you and let you know what to expect. They will also give you information about your Xofigo treatment schedule.
If you’re having other treatment (such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or another type of radioactive targeted therapy) for your prostate cancer, you may need to stop that treatment before and during your Xofigo treatment. Your healthcare provider will give you more information if this is needed.
Xofigo treatment schedule
Xofigo is given as 6 separate injections 4 weeks apart. Your last Xofigo injection will be 20 weeks (about 4 and a half months) after your first injection. You will come to MSK for each of your injections.
You will also have a blood test 2 to 3 days before each injection. You can have these blood tests done at the MSK location closest to you.
The timeline below shows your Xofigo treatment schedule.
About Your Xofigo Injection Appointments
Where to go
Your Xofigo injection appointments will be in the MITS therapy suite.
To get to the MITS therapy suite, enter the hospital through the entrance at 1250 First Avenue (between East 67th Street and East 68th Street). Turn left by the security desk in the lobby, go up the stairs to the 4th floor, and check in at the reception desk. A staff member will bring you to the MITS therapy suite.
If you would like to use an elevator instead of the stairs, or if you’re not sure where to go, you can ask the security guard for help.
What to expect
In the MITS therapy suite, you will sit in a private room with a TV and WiFi. A nurse will place an IV line into one of your veins. Then, a healthcare provider will inject the Xofigo into the IV line. They will inject it slowly over about 1 minute. After the injection is finished, the nurse will remove the IV line.
After the Xofigo injection, you may have:
- Nausea (a feeling like you’re going to throw up)
- Diarrhea (loose or watery bowel movements)
- Swelling in your ankles or wrists
These things may happen during the first few days after your injection. Your MITS healthcare provider will give you more information.
Radiation safety precautions
After your Xofigo injection, there will be radiation in your blood, urine (pee), and bowel movements (stool or poop). A radiation safety officer (staff member who specializes in radiation safety) will talk with you about your radiation safety precautions before you leave your injection appointment. They will also give you written instructions to follow at home.
Follow the radiation safety precautions below, as well as the instructions the radiation safety officer gives you, to keep from exposing other people to radiation.
For 1 week after each Xofigo injection:
- After you go to the bathroom, flush the toilet and wash your hands well with soap and water.
- If any of your linens or clothes become stained with blood, urine, or stool, wash them separately from other clothes and rinse them well.
- Wear medical gloves when wiping up blood, urine, stool, and vomit (throw up) and when handling stained clothes.
There are no restrictions for contact with other people after getting a Xofigo injection.
Some types of security equipment (such as at the airport or outside a tunnel) can detect very small amounts of radiation. A staff member will give you a card that says you received radioactive medicine and may give off small amounts of radioactivity for up to 1 month after your treatment. If you’re stopped by law enforcement at a checkpoint, show them this card.
If you have any questions about radiation safety, call 212-639-7391 Monday through Friday from to
After Your Xofigo Injection Appointment
Follow the radiation safety instructions that the radiation safety officer gave you.
Drink lots of liquids after each injection. This will help the radiation from the Xofigo leave your body more quickly. It’s very important to follow the radiation safety instructions to clean or flush your bodily fluids (such as urine) in the bathroom.
During your Xofigo treatment (from your first injection until 6 months after your last injection):
- Always use a condom during sexual activity.
- Don’t get your partner pregnant.
- Don’t expose your partner to your semen.
If you have questions, talk with your MITS healthcare provider.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service.