Loyola University Medical Center has launched the first clinical trial in the United States of a minimally invasive treatment designed to help relieve pain, heal spinal fractures, and prevent new fractures. The procedure is targeted to patients with metastatic cancer, which frequently spreads to the bones, with the spine as the most common site of tumors. These can result in weakened and collapsed vertebrae. The trial will test a new combination treatment that delivers radiation directly to the tumor and increases support of the spine.
When metastatic cancer causes spinal fractures, severe pain and impaired mobility are frequently the result. The new, 2-part therapy consists of administration of intraoperative radiotherapy followed by kyphoplasty to restore the height of the collapsed vertebra and stabilize it with injected material. Researchers will compare pain levels and use of pain medications before and after the procedure. They also will monitor quality-of-life issues, the effect of the procedure on the tumor, and any complications. To qualify for the trial, patients must be 50 or older and have metastatic cancer that has spread from a solid tumor to the spine.
A news story, with contact information for inquiries about the trial, may be read here.