, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 434-440
Date: 11 Oct 2013

Palliative treatment of bone metastases with samarium-153 EDTMP at onset of pain

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Abstract

We evaluated the pain response and daily discomfort in patients suffering from a borderline degree of bone pain due to breast or lung cancer bone metastases, who had undergone early palliative radionuclide treatment. The results were compared with those from patients who had received standard analgesic therapy. Twenty-one patients (65.7 ± 3 years; 17 women) with metastatic bone cancer underwent samarium-153 (Sm-153) ethylene diamine tetramethylene phosphonate (EDTMP) administration (group A) and 18 patients (64.3 ± 8 years; 16 women) continued to receive standard analgesics (group B; control group). The patients kept a daily pain diary assessing both their discomfort and the pain at specific sites by means of a visual analog scale, rating from 0 (no discomfort–no pain) to 10 (worst discomfort–pain). These diaries were reviewed weekly for 2 months and three physicians rated the pain response on a scale from −2 (considerable deterioration) to +2 (considerable improvement). Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. The reduction of total discomfort and of bone pain in group A was significantly greater compared to group B (p < 0.0001). A significant improvement of clinical conditions was observed in group A, where the physician rate changed from −1 to 1, compared to group B in which the rate changed from −1 to 0. Sm-153 EDTMP therapy can be considered for patients with bone pain from breast and lung cancer in advance, i.e., before the establishment of severe pain syndrome.