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SIR: Bone Cement Relieves Pain from Bone Metastases

Pain relief quick and effective; also occurs with benign lesions

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with painful bone metastases and benign lytic lesions that do not respond to conventional analgesics have quick and effective pain relief after injection of a bone cement to support weakened bones, according to a study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's annual meeting held Mar. 7 to 12 in San Diego.

Giovanni C. Anselmetti, M.D., and colleagues from the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in Candiolo, Italy, performed percutaneous osteoplasty by injecting polymethyl-metacrylate into the bones of 81 patients with painful extraspinal lytic lesions both due to benign and metastatic diseases.

After an average follow-up of 11.2 months, the researchers found that pain (as assessed by the visual analog scale) significantly improved within 24 hours after the procedure and 79 percent of 81 patients were able to stop taking narcotic drugs. There were no deaths or complications during percutaneous osteoplasty, they report. Two patients treated on the femur shaft had a femoral fracture within a month after the procedure.

"Percutaneous osteoplasty is effective to obtain pain regression both in painful bone metastases and benign lytic lesions not responding to conventional analgesic therapy; bone consolidation cannot be obtained in the diaphysis of long weight-bearing bones," Anselmetti and colleagues conclude.

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