Emerging Data

Emerging Data

Perspective from Herrick J. Siegel, MD
Disclosures: Levy reports he is a consultant and is on the advisory board for Medtronic. Bagla reports he is a paid consultant for Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Terumo and Varian.
January 07, 2021
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Radiofrequency ablation relieved pain in patients with metastatic bone disease

Perspective from Herrick J. Siegel, MD
Disclosures: Levy reports he is a consultant and is on the advisory board for Medtronic. Bagla reports he is a paid consultant for Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Terumo and Varian.
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Radiofrequency ablation yielded a rapid and statistically significant improvement in pain relief among patients with metastatic bone disease, according to published results.

Jason Levy, MD, Sandeep Bagla, MD, and colleagues measured pain and quality of life among 100 patients with metastatic bone disease who underwent radiofrequency ablation (OsteoCool RF Ablation System, Sofamor Danek/Medtronic) preoperatively and at 3 days, 1 week, and 1, 3 and 6 months postoperatively. Researchers also collected opioid agent use and device-, procedure- and therapy-related adverse events.

Results showed a decrease in mean worst pain score from approximately 8.2 at baseline to 3.5 at 6 months postoperatively. Researchers found significant improvements in average pain relief, pain interference and quality of life at all follow-up visits.

Jason Levy
Jason Levy
Sandeep Bagla
Sandeep Bagla

“As early as 3 days post-procedure, well more than half of the patients were already seeing pain relief and quality of life improvements and that was sustained when we followed these patients up for 6 months,” Levy, interventional radiologist at Northside Hospital System, told Healio Orthopedics.

Levy also noted patients did not experience a delayed skeletal event, such as a neurologic or osseous injury.

“[Delayed skeletal events], especially the fractures, are reported in radiation,” Levy said. “In our first 100 patients, we did not see it once, so that is encouraging from a safety perspective.”

Researchers noted four adverse events occurred, two of which resulted in hospitalization for pneumonia and respiratory failure. According to results, 30 deaths were reported during the study; however, researchers noted these were not related to the procedure but attributed to the underlying malignancy.

“The most significant takeaway from the study is that patients can receive an immediate response in terms of pain and function [with radiofrequency ablation] as opposed to with other therapies, such as radiation, which may take a more prolonged time to response, closer to 4 to 6 weeks,” Bagla told Healio Orthopedics. “With such high response rates, rapid time to improvement and minimally invasive nature, radiofrequency ablation is set to join other historic therapies in national societal guidelines.”