Percutaneous Ultrasound-guided Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation of Malignant Osteolyses

Guido Poggi, Carlo Gatti, Mario Melazzini, Giovanni Bernardo, Mariarosa Strada, Cristina Teragni, Angelo Delmonte, Carlo Tagliaferri, Cesare Bonezzi, Massimo Barbieri, Antonio Bernardo, Pietro Fratino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metastases are the most common neoplastic pathology involving the skeletal system. The hallmark of skeletal metastases is pain that often compromises the patient's quality of life. Radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy are the cornerstones of the treatment, but these techniques are not completely effective. Radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) may offer an alternative to conventional therapies for pain control, At present, the main field of application of RFA is the treatment of primary or secondary tumors of the liver but, recently, the technique has been effectively used to treat various other tumors in organs such as the prostate, kidney, lung, brain, pancreas and breast and to control pain caused by osteoid osteomas. Five patients with six painful bone metastases underwent RFA. The patients were three women and two men, aged 40-77 years (mean: 63.4). The radiofrequency system consists of an insulated 18-gauge needle electrode attached to a 500-kHz RF generator (Radionics, Burlington, Mass, USA). Four of our five patients rapidly obtained pain relief. One patient was completely pain free within 48 hours of the procedure and the control of pain persisted for 88 weeks. Another three patients obtained at least fifty percent pain reduction that lasted, on average, 12 weeks. Our preliminary results confirm that ultrasound-guided RFA is a simple and safe technique for treating painful superficial bone metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4977-4983
Number of pages7
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number6 D
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • Bone neoplasms
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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