In the Journals

Noninvasive ultrasound reduced pain from bone metastases

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May 5, 2014

Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound alleviated pain from bone metastases among patients who had failed standard therapies, according to phase 3 study results.

The analysis included 147 patients with painful bone metastases, 112 of whom were randomly assigned to receive magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound. The other 35 patients received placebo.

Improvements in patient-reported pain score without an increase in pain medications 3 months after therapy served as the study’s primary endpoint.

A higher percentage of patients in the ultrasound arm achieved the primary endpoint (64.3% vs. 20%; P˂.001)

At 3 months, the worst scores of the Numerical Rating Scale for pain and the Brief Pain Inventory were still superior in the ultrasound arm (P˂.001 for both).

Sonication pain was the most common treatment-related adverse event in the ultrasound arm (32.1%); however, researchers noted most adverse events resolved on the same day as treatment (60.3%).

One patient who underwent ultrasound developed third-degree skin burn, and another patient developed neuropathy.

“Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound provides durable pain relief and improved function in patients who failed radiation or those who are not candidates for or declined radiation,” the researchers concluded. “Given the impact of these clinically significant results, coupled with a favorable side effect profile, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound should be considered a viable treatment option for painful bone metastases. Further studies are required to assess the role of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound in patients with bone metastases as first-line therapy.”

Disclosure: The study was funded by InSightec Ltd, Tirat Carmel, Israel.  The researchers report consultant roles with or expert testimony for InSightec.

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