We investigated the efficacy of combined radiotherapy (RT) and zoledronic acid in treating painful bone metastases from gastrointestinal cancers. Sixty patients were prospectively enrolled between November 2014 and July 2016. The most common primary cancer type was hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, n = 25), followed by colorectal cancer (n = 6). Patients received external beam RT of 30-54 Gy in 10-17 fractions or 20 Gy in 5 fractions for symptomatic bone metastases. On the first day of RT, patients received 4 mg intravenous zoledronic acid, which was repeated monthly for a total of six cycles. The mean pain score before treatment was 6.7, and it decreased to 2.8 at 1 month and 2.1 at 3 months (P < 0.001).The overall pain response rates at 1 and 3 months were 95% and 96%, respectively. Among the 24 patients who underwent magnetic resonance imaging, 71% were responders, with a complete response in 1 patient and partial in 16 patients. Combined treatment significantly decreased levels of macrophage inflammatory protein-1α and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -3 compared with baseline (all P < 0.05). In HCC patients, IL-6 and MMP-9 levels were significantly lower 1 month after treatment (P < 0.05). The mean quality of life (QOL) score improved from 66 to 56 at 1 month (P < 0.001) and 55 at 3 months (P = 0.016). The median survival was 7 months. In conclusion, RT with zoledronic acid decreased bone pain and improved QOL in patients with painful bone metastases from gastrointestinal cancers. Radiographic findings and serum biomarker measurements were closely correlated with therapeutic responses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis