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ASCO: Single Radiation Tx Enough for Spinal Pain in Cancer Mets

Researchers suggest it works as well as a full week of treatments

human spine

MONDAY, June 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just one dose of radiation works as well as a full week of treatment for metastatic spinal canal compression, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 2 to 6 in Chicago.

Peter Hoskin, M.D., of the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Middlesex, U.K., and colleagues assessed 688 patients with metastatic prostate, lung, breast, and gastrointestinal cancers.

The researchers found that a single radiation treatment was as effective as five radiation sessions. The patients were assessed by how well they could walk and move. Both short-course and longer-course radiation treatments helped patients stay mobile.

"Our findings establish single-dose radiotherapy as the standard of care for metastatic spinal canal compression, at least for patients with a short life expectancy. For patients, this means fewer hospital visits and more time with family," Hoskin said in a news release from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Longer radiation may be more effective for preventing regrowth of metastases in the spine than single-dose radiation. Therefore, a longer course of radiation may still be better for patients with a longer life expectancy, but we need more research to confirm this."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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