Management of painful bone metastases: Our experience according to scientific evidence on palliative radiotherapy

Rossella Di Franco, Sara Falivene, Vincenzo Ravo, Massimo Mammucari, Ennio Sarli, Stella Baffini, Giampaolo De Palma, Alfonsina Pepe, Marianna Traettino, Matteo Muto, Salvatore Cappabianca, Paolo Muto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Our aim was to evaluate retrospectively the role of the radiotherapy in the multi-disciplinary management of pain due to bone metastases. Patients and Methods: A total of 305 patients received radiotherapy with or without bisphosphonate and antalgic drugs. Tolerability and efficacy were evaluated using a Numerical Rating Scale, Pain Intensity Difference evaluation scale related to administration of the drug, a 5-point verbal scale of the patients' general impression. Results: We found differences in some patient subgroups: pain reduction was significantly more evident in patients treated with a single-fraction radiotherapy scheme. Overall, 68% of patients experienced an improvement in pain control using concomitant drugs during radiotherapy. Conclusion: Our study underlines the role of radiotherapy in the management of metastatic bone pain. The use of rapid-onset opioids to prevent predictable pain is a crucial step in managing radiotherapy. An interdisciplinary approach is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1014
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014


  • Bone metastases
  • Fractionation
  • Pain
  • Radiotherapy
  • Rapid-onset opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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