State of the art of palliative therapy

E. Seregni, B. Padovano, A. Coliva, E. Zecca, E. Bombardieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone pain in advanced stages of cancer significantly decreases the patient's quality of life having a great impact on physical, physiological and social functioning. About 65% of patients with prostate or breast cancer will experience symptomatic skeletal metastases. Bone pain sustained by osseous metastases represents the most frequent kind of pain and its clinical presentation and characteristics differ from other type of neoplastic pain (i.e., neuropathic or visceral ones). Pathophysiology of bone pain is not yet completely understood but a general mechanism including infiltration of bone tissue associated with osteolysis and release of biological active molecules able to stimulate peripheral nervous terminals, seems to be principally involved. In oncological practice, painful skeletal metastases are managed by different multidisciplinary modalities which include the use of systemic analgesics (i.e., Bisphosphonates), antineoplastic agents (i.e., hormones and chemotherapeutics), external beam radiotherapy, interventional radiology and radiopharmaceuticals. In this review we will discuss the state of the art of palliative therapy of bone pain with particular emphasis to the current approved radiopharmaceuticals, focusing on indications, patient selection, efficacy and toxicity. Some remarks on new or under developing strategies in systemic metabolic radiopharmaceutical therapy will be reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Neoplasm metastasis
  • Pain
  • Radiopharmaceuticals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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