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New technique alleviates painful bone metastases
Date:5/31/2013

CHICAGO, IL (May 29, 2013)A high-dose of ultrasound targeted to painful bone metastases appears to quickly bring patients relief, and with largely tolerable side effects, according to new research presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Monday, June 3.

During the procedure, known as MR-guided focused ultrasound, doctors direct a concentrated beam of energy to specific nerve endings that are causing pain in bone metastases. These patients typically have a significant amount of discomforthalf of study participants rated their pain at least a 7 out of 10but within a handful of days, most said they felt significant relief.

Although Fox Chase patients received local anesthesia during the procedure, the most commonly reported side effect was painwhich can often be alleviated with additional anesthesia, says study author Joshua Meyer, MD, attending physician in the Radiation Oncology Department at Fox Chase. "That's temporary pain, which is gone as soon as the procedure is over," he says. "The whole reason we're doing the procedure is for the pain relief that comes afterwards. And that's relatively quickwe see a response by a day or so, and within three days of the procedure most patients are reporting a significant improvement."

Specifically, 67% of the 107 treated patients said their pain was "much improved" after the treatment, and that relief continued through the end of the three-month study. In comparison, among a group of 35 patients that received a "sham" treatmentthey entered the machine but did not receive the interventiononly 20% reported some pain relief, Meyer and his colleagues reported.

During the procedure, patients enter into an MRI machine, which allows clinicians to direct a cone of ultrasound energy at specific, targeted bone sites that are causing pain. The MRI also acts as a thermometer to measure the temperature deep within t
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
diana.quattrone@fccc.edu
215-815-7828
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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