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Strontium 89 (Metastron™) treatment

Here you will find more information about Strontium 89 (Metastron™) treatment.

What is Metastron™?

The active ingredient in Metastron™ is a radioactive substance called strontium [89Sr] chloride. It also contains non-radioactive strontium chloride and water for injections. Metastron is a radiopharmaceutical product used for therapeutic purposes. When injected such products collect in a specific organ or area of tissue. Because they contain small amounts of radioactivity they can be used to deliver therapy to that particular area.

Who makes Metastron™?

Metastron™ is manufactured and marketed by:

GE Healthcare Limited
Grove Centre
White Lon Road
Bucks, HP7 9NA
United Kingdom

When is Metastron™ used?

A secondary effect of prostatic cancer is the formation of bone metastases (secondaries). These are areas of bone which are absorbing extra calcium and are often painful. If hormone therapy of this condition has become unsuccessful your doctor may decide that treatment with Metastron is appropriate.

Because strontium-89 behaves like calcium in the body, when injected it will collect in the metastases. It will then deliver radiation directly to the affected area, giving relief from pain.

What precautions have to be taken when using Metastron™?

The use of Metastron™ does involve administration of radioactivity. Metastron™ is administered by trained personnel. Because there are strict laws covering the use, handling and disposal of radioactivity, Metastron™ will always be administered in a hospital. The injection will be carried out by people who are trained and qualified in the safe handling of radioactive material.

The effects of Metastron™ within the body are limited to the small area where it concentrates. It cannot cause any harm to any other people by bodily contact. However, because during the first few days after injection some Metastron™ will be present in your blood and urine you should take the following precautions for the first week:

  • Where a normal toilet is available it should be used in preference to a urinal.
  • The toilet should be flushed twice
  • Wipe up any spilled urine with a tissue and flush it away
  • Ensure that you always wash your hands after using the toilet
  • Immediately wash any bedding or clothes which become stained with urine.
  • Wash them separately from other clothes, and rinse thoroughly
  • If you should cut yourself, wash away any spilled blood
  • If you use any urine collection device take advice from your doctor on its use
  • Your doctor will inform you if you need to take any further special precautions after use of this product

You will be asked to carry a contact card for three months after your treatment. You should carry this with you at all times and show any medical staff you have contact with so that they know that you have been treated.

Do any other medicines affect the use of Metastron™?

If you are undergoing calcium therapy, this should be discontinued at least two weeks before Metastron™ administration.

How is Metastron™ administered?

Metastron is administered as a single injection into a vein. This is similar to having a blood test and is not painful. Precautions will be taken to ensure that the injection is not spilt.

Will Metastron™ have any adverse effects?

You may experience some increase in pain within the first few days after injection. Your doctor may decide to treat this with normal pain-killing medicines.

A slight fall in the number of cells in your blood is not unusual but rarely causes medical problems. Your doctor may therefore wish to carry out routine blood test. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor.

If you have any questions about your treatment please contact the Nuclear Medicine Department on:

Metastron is a trademark of GE Healthcare Limited, Amersham UK.

Last reviewed: 14 June 2023