Spinal Metastases' Pain Ablated

Targeted radiofrequency ablation (t-RFA) can be safely used to alleviate pain from spinal metastatic cancer, a Kansas team found.

Targeted radiofrequency ablation (t-RFA) can be safely used to alleviate pain from spinal metastatic cancer, a Kansas team found.

Reporting at the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians in Orlando, FL, April 11, Dawood Sayed, MD, assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and colleagues offered the team’s findings.

From Jan. 2014 to Sept. 2014, 13 patients with painful spine metastases were prospectively enrolled and treated with (t-RFA) at the center. All got cement augmentation. To be included in the study, they had to have pain in a thoracolumbar vertebral body concordant to the metastatic lesion.

The group had several types of primary cancers. Six were renal, 2 breast, 1 lung, 1 liver, 1 thyroid.

Patients were evaluated at baseline, prior to discharge and then at intervals of 3 days, 7 days, 30 days and 90 days.

The team used 4 scales: the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS), the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-7 (FACT-G7) and the Quality of Life (FACT BP) scale.

The mean age of patients was 57.8 years, and 4 of the 13 patients were women.

All patients were white.

The procedures were 100% technically successful.

All patients showed improvement in pain, disability and quality of life.

There were no adverse events.

The conclusion, stated in an abstract presented in a poster session at the meeting insthat “t-RFA is safe and clinical benefit can be detected,” at least in the study’s small set of patients. The group improved in pain and quality of life, but not in disability, the authors said.

Lead author Sayed is also on the teaching faculty for Medtronic.