Skeletal metastases and radiotherapy

In the 8th edition of the ASBMR-primer (American Society of Bone and Mineral Research), published November, 2008, we have reviewed the current practice of external beam radiotherapy in skeletal metastases. Guidelines are presented on how best to select patients that should be offered a single fraction of 8Gy and those that should be given fractionated radiotherapy. Futhermore, the use of bone-seeking radiopharaceuticals is also discussed.

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We have also published results in "the green journal" from a randomised phase III clinical trial involving 376 patients with painful skeletal metastases form various malignancies. A comparison between a single dose (8Gy) and fractionated radiotherapy (3Gy x 10)revealed no major differences in the palliative benefit and shows that 8Gy x 1; with an option for re-treatment, should be standard management policy for these patients.

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