Therapy of metastatic bone pain

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188 Scopus citations


Bone metastasis is a common sequella of solid malignant tumors such as prostate, breast, lung, and renal cancers, which can lead to various complications, including fractures, hypercalcemia, and bone pain, as well as reduced performance status and quality of life. A multidisciplinary approach is usually required not only to address the etiology of the pain and its complicating factors but also to treat the patient appropriately. Currently, the treatment of bone pain remains palliative at best with systemic therapy (analgesics, hormones, chemotherapy, steroids, and bisphosphonates) as well as local treatments (such as surgery, nerve blocks, and external beam radiation). However, many of these treatments are limited in their efficacy or duration and have significant side effects that seriously limit the cancer patient's quality of life. Various radiopharmaceuticals have shown good efficacy in relieving bone pain secondary to bone metastasis. This systemic form of metabolic radiotherapy is simple to administer and complements other treatment options. This has been associated with improved mobility in many patients, reduced dependence on narcotic and non-narcotic analgesics, improved performance status and quality of life, and, in some studies, improved survival. Additional radiopharmaceuticals are under investigation and appear promising. All of these agents, although comprising different physical and chemical characteristics, offer certain advantages in that they are simple to administer, are well tolerated by the patient if used appropriately, and can be used alone or in combination with the other forms of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-906
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 26 2001


  • Bone metastasis
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic radiotherapy
  • Pain
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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