A feasibility study of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation followed by radiotherapy in the management of painful osteolytic bone metastases
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To determine whether Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) followed by Radiotherapy (RT) (RFA-RT) produces better palliation in terms of pain than RT alone in patients with osteolytic bone metastases.
Patients with solitary bone metastases and a pain score of least 5 or more on the VAS scale were selected. Fifteen patients were treated with RFA-RT (20 Gy delivered in 5 fractions of 4 Gy over 1 week) and were compared with a matched group (30 subjects) treated by RT.
A complete response in terms of pain relief at 12 weeks was documented in 16.6% (5/30) and 53.3% (8/15) of the subjects treated by RT or RFA-RT, respectively (p = 0.027). The overall response rate at 12 weeks was 93.3% (14 patients) in the group treated by RFA-RT and 59.9% (18 patients) in the group treated by RT (p = 0.048). Although recurrent pain was documented more frequently after RT (26.6%) than after RFA-RT (6.7%) the difference did not reach statistical significance. The morbidity related to RT did not significantly differ when this treatment was associated with RFA.
Our results suggest that RFA-RT is safe and more effective than RT. The findings described here should serve as a framework around which to design future clinical trials.
KeywordsMorbidity Palliative care Radiotherapy Radiofrequency ablation Skeletal metastases
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