Does single-fraction stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for bone metastases lead to better pain response rates than standard multifraction radiotherapy (MFRT)?
In this prospective randomized phase 2 noninferiority trial, 160 patients with mostly nonspine bone lesions were randomly assigned to receive single-fraction SBRT (12 Gy for ≥4-cm lesions or 16 Gy for <4-cm lesions) or MFRT to 30 Gy in 10 fractions. Single-fraction radiation led to more patients experiencing complete or partial pain response at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 9 months compared with standard MFRT.
Pain response rates were higher for high-dose, single-fraction SBRT, which should be considered for patients with bone metastases and long estimated survival times.
Consensus is lacking as to the optimal radiotherapy dose and fractionation schedule for treating bone metastases.
To assess the relative efficacy of high-dose, single-fraction stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) vs standard multifraction radiotherapy (MFRT) for alleviation of pain in patients with mostly nonspine bone metastases.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This prospective, randomized, single-institution phase 2 noninferiority trial conducted at a tertiary cancer care center enrolled 160 patients with radiologically confirmed painful bone metastases from September 19, 2014, through June 19, 2018. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either single-fraction SBRT (12 Gy for ≥4-cm lesions or 16 Gy for <4-cm lesions) or MFRT to 30 Gy in 10 fractions.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary end point was pain response, defined by international consensus criteria as a combination of pain score and analgesic use (daily morphine-equivalent dose). Pain failure (ie, lack of response) was defined as worsening pain score (≥2 points on a 0-to-10 scale), an increase in morphine-equivalent opioid dose of 50% or more, reirradiation, or pathologic fracture. We hypothesized that SBRT was noninferior to MFRT.
In this phase 2 noninferiority trial of 96 men and 64 women (mean [SD] age, 62.4 [10.4] years), 81 patients received SBRT and 79 received MFRT. Among evaluable patients who received treatment per protocol, the single-fraction group had more pain responders than the MFRT group (complete response + partial response) at 2 weeks (34 of 55 [62%] vs 19 of 52 [36%]) (P = .01), 3 months (31 of 43 [72%] vs 17 of 35 [49%]) (P = .03), and 9 months (17 of 22 [77%] vs 12 of 26 [46%]) (P = .03). No differences were found in treatment-related toxic effects or quality-of-life scores after SBRT vs MFRT; local control rates at 1 and 2 years were higher in patients receiving single-fraction SBRT.
Conclusions and Relevance
Delivering high-dose, single-fraction SBRT seems to be an effective treatment option for patients with painful bone metastases. Among evaluable patients, SBRT had higher rates of pain response (complete response + partial response) than did MFRT and thus should be considered for patients expected to have relatively long survival.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02163226
Nguyen Q, Chun SG, Chow E, et al. Single-Fraction Stereotactic vs Conventional Multifraction Radiotherapy for Pain Relief in Patients With Predominantly Nonspine Bone Metastases: A Randomized Phase 2 Trial. JAMA Oncol. Published online April 25, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.0192
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