Clinical Research Papers:

Radiofrequency ablation versus 125I-seed brachytherapy for painful metastases involving the bone

Dechao Jiao, Gang Wu, Jianzhuang Ren and Xinwei Han _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:87523-87531. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11983

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Dechao Jiao1, Gang Wu1, Jianzhuang Ren1 and Xinwei Han1

1 Department of Interventional Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Xinwei Han, email:

Keywords: radiofrequency ablation, 125I-seed, brachytherapy, bone, metastases

Received: July 10, 2016 Accepted: September 06, 2016 Published: September 12, 2016


This retrospective study aimed to demonstrate and compare the safety and effectiveness of computed tomography-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and 125I-seed brachytherapy for painful bone metastases after failure of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). From June 2013 to October 2015, 79 patients with moderate-to-severe pain caused by metastatic bone lesions who underwent either RFA (n = 41) or 125I-seed brachytherapy (n = 38) were enrolled. Pain in patients was measured using the brief pain inventory (BPI) before treatment, 1 week after treatment, and 3 months after treatment. Response rates were assessed by measuring the changes in pain and incorporation of changes in the analgesic requirements. At baseline, 1 week, and 3 months, the mean worst pain scores of BPI were 7.8, 5.4, and 2.7, respectively, for the RFA group and 7.7, 6.1, and 2.8, respectively, for the brachytherapy group. At 1 week, the complete and partial response rates were 12% and 59%, respectively, in the RFA group compared with 3% and 45%, respectively, in the brachytherapy group. At 3 months, the complete and partial response rates were 23% and 58%, respectively, in the RFA group compared with 24% and 52% in the brachytherapy group (p = 0.95). The response rates in the RFA group were significantly higher than those in the brachytherapy group at 1 week (p = 0.32), but comparable at 3 weeks (p = 0.95). Both groups had low rates of complications and no treatment-related mortality. In conclusion, the short-term curative efficiency of RFA was better than that of brachytherapy, but the log-term efficiency of both treatments was equal.

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