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Bone Cement Eases Pain of Late-Stage Cancers
Date:3/9/2009

to vertebroplasty, which has been around for a few years, where you put little needles into the spine and inject a cement mixture," Montgomery said. "It's the same kind of cement they use for total hip replacement. This is same thing, except they're just taking it to usage outside the spine into other areas."

This study involved 81 patients, aged 36 to 94 and mostly female, who underwent osteoplasty at least once. Seventy-four of the participants had cancer, while a handful had "benign" diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The overall patient population was larger than those seen in other studies, Bukata said.

Pelvic, femur, sacrum, ribs, knee and other bones were treated.

The mean pain score dropped significantly within 24 hours of the procedure. Sixty-four of the patients (79 percent) were able to discontinue use of narcotics and 43 (53 percent) also stopped using any other pain medications. Only five of the patients showed no improvement in pain. There were no deaths or major complications.

The procedure could also be used to avoid massive surgery later in life, Bukata said.

"There's a lack of an awareness of some of the options for patients that have painful bone metastases," Montgomery added. "It's physician education as much as it is patient education."

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on bone metastasis.



SOURCES: Giovanni Carlo Anselmetti, M.D., Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Turin, Italy; Susan Bukata, M.D., associate professor, orthopaedics, University of Rochester Medical Center, N.Y.; Mark Montgomery, M.D., associate professor, radiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and director, interventional radiology, and vice chair, education in radiology, Scott &a
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