(HealthDay News) — For patients with bone metastases, those responding to radiotherapy experience greater pain reduction and better quality of life (QOL) at day 10 after radiotherapy, according to a study published online in JAMA Oncology.

Rachel McDonald, MD, from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and colleagues used a bone metastases-specific QOL tool to examine QOL at days 10 and 42 after radiotherapy among 298 patients from 23 Canadian centers.

The researchers found that 40.9% and 38.9% of patients responded to radiotherapy at day 10 and 42, respectively. Compared with non-responders, patients with a pain response had a greater reduction in pain (mean reduction, 17.0 vs 1.8; =.002) and pain characteristics (mean reduction, 12.8 vs 1.1; P =.002) at day 10; they also had greater improvements in functional interference (mean increase, 11.6 vs 3.6; P =.01) and psychosocial aspects (mean, 1.2-point increase in responders vs 2.2-point decrease in non-responders; P = .04). Compared with non-responders, responders had significantly greater improvements in physical, emotional, and global domains of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core 15 Palliative when comparing changes in QOL from baseline to day 42 (all P <.001).

“A single 8-Gy radiotherapy dose for bone metastases should be offered to all patients, even those with poor survival,” the authors write.

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  1. 1. McDonald R, Ding K, Brundage M, et al. Effect of Radiotherapy on Painful Bone Metastases. JAMA Oncol. 9 February 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.6770