Research Papers:

Dose escalation by image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy leads to an increase in pain relief for spinal metastases: a comparison study with a regimen of 30 Gy in 10 fractions

Jinlan He, Jianghong Xiao, Xingchen Peng, Baofeng Duan, Yan Li, Ping Ai, Min Yao and Nianyong Chen _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:112330-112340. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18979

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Jinlan He1,*, Jianghong Xiao1,*, Xingchen Peng1,*, Baofeng Duan1, Yan Li1, Ping Ai1, Min Yao2 and Nianyong Chen1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Center and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China

2Department of Radiation Oncology, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Nianyong Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: dose escalation, image-guided radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, pain relief, spinal metastasis

Received: December 15, 2016     Accepted: June 18, 2017     Published: July 04, 2017


Purpose: Under the existing condition that the optimum radiotherapy regimen for spinal metastases is controversial, this study investigates the benefits of dose escalation by image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) with 60–66 Gy in 20–30 fractions for spinal metastases.

Results: In the dose-escalation group, each D50 of planning gross tumor volume (PGTV) was above 60 Gy and each Dmax of spinal cord planning organ at risk volume (PRV) was below 48 Gy. The median biological effective dose (BED) of Dmax of spinal cord was lower in the dose-escalation group compared with that in the 30-Gy group (69.70 Gy vs. 83.16 Gy, p < 0.001). After one month and three months of the radiotherapy, pain responses were better in the dose-escalation group than those in the 30-Gy group (p = 0.005 and p = 0.024), and the complete pain relief rates were respectively 73.69% and 34.29% (p = 0.006), 73.69% and 41.38% (p = 0.028) in two compared groups. In the dose-escalation group, there is a trend of a longer duration of pain relief, a longer overall survival and a lower incidence of acute radiation toxicities. No late radiation toxicities were observed in both groups.

Materials and Methods: Dosimetric parameters and clinical outcomes, including pain response, duration of pain relief, radiation toxicities and overall survival, were compared among twenty-five metastatic spinal lesions irradiated with the dose-escalation regimen and among forty-four lesions treated with the 30-Gy regimen.

Conclusions: Conventionally-fractionated IG-IMRT for spinal metastases could escalate dose to the vertebral lesions while sparing the spinal cord, achieving a better pain relief without increasing radiation complications.

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