Purpose. Managing patients with advanced bone sarcomas - namely, recurrent, unresectable and metastatic - is mostly aimed at palliation. The role of embolisation for pain relief for these patients has not been previously reported. We therefore performed this study to emphasise the palliative role of embolisation for pain relief of advanced bone sarcoma patients. Materials and methods. We retrospectively studied 43 patients with advanced bone sarcomas treated with palliative embolisation with N-2-butyl-cyanoacrylate from 2004 to 2011. All patients had primary treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, radiofrequency thermal ablation, and/or surgery for their advanced sarcomas and were referred for embolisation as end-stage treatment for continuous severe local pain. The effect of embolisation was evaluated with a pain score scale and analgesic use. Mean follow-up was 7 (range, 1-19) months); all patients were dead at the last follow-up. Results. In all patients, angiography showed increased pathological vascularisation of the sarcomas; three to six feeding vessels were embolised in each procedure. Almost complete pain relief and >50% reduction in analgesic use was experienced by 36 patients with highly hypervascular sarcomas and sarcomas in the pelvis and shoulder girdle. Moderate pain relief and 50% reduction in analgesic use was experienced by seven patients with spinal and sacral lesions. Within the available follow-up, no patient had recurrent pain with the same intensity as before embolisation. All patients experienced ischaemic pain at the site of embolisation that resolved completely with analgesics. Six patients with advanced pelvic bone sarcomas experienced paraesthesias at the distribution of the sciatic nerve that resolved completely with methylprednisolone. Conclusions. Embolisation is a safe and effective local palliative treatment for patients with advanced sarcomas, providing optimum pain relief with the least discomfort and the possibility of minor complications only.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging