Irradiation of bone metastases in breast cancer patients: a randomized study with 1 year follow-up

Radiother Oncol. 1995 Mar;34(3):179-84. doi: 10.1016/0167-8140(95)01520-q.


The results from a prospective randomized trial comparing two different radiation schedules for treatment of painful bone metastases in women with recurrent breast cancer are presented. A total of 217 patients with painful bone metastases were randomized to either 30 Grey (Gy) in ten fractions, five fractions a week (5F/W) or 15 Gy in three fractions 2F/W. The effect of treatment was evaluated by pain assessment, the radiological response and the degree of side-effects. The patients were rated at start of treatment and after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. No difference between the two radiation regimes was found, neither in achieved pain relief, improvement in level of activity and medication, nor was there any difference in radiological response and side-effects from treatment. Both regimes resulted in a significant improvement in both pain score and level of activity 1 month after treatment, an improvement which persisted during the follow-up period. We conclude that 15 Gy given in three fractions 2F/W is as effective as 30 Gy in ten fractions 5F/W, but more convenient to the patient and of less cost to society.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology
  • Pain, Intractable / radiotherapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome