The U.K.'s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved radium-223 to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones for routine National Health Service (NHS) use. The approval comes in the wake of new information about how the effectiveness of radium-223 internal radiation therapy compares with treatments currently available for this type of prostate cancer, according to a news release. NICE is a special health authority set up in 1999 to provide national guidance and advice for improved health and social care by reducing variations in the availability and quality of NHS treatments in the U.K. NICE had previously recommended radium-223 -- a mildly radioactive form of the metal radium which has an affinity for bone and targets tumors specifically in bone tissue -- but only for patients who had received initial treatment with Taxotere (docetaxel). This meant that prostate cancer patients who had not received Taxotere could only access radium-223 through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). Only 601 prostate cancer patients in England had CDF access to radium-223 during 2014-2015.