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Bone metastases

Cancer that begins in an organ, such as the lungs, prostate, or breast, can spread at distance and involve the bone tissue, causing a metastasis. The tumor which is most likely to evolve into a bone metastatization is the breast tumor (73%), followed by the prostate (68%), the thyroid gland (42%), the lung (36%) and the kidney (35%).

Bone metastases commonly cause pain, and can cause fractures, compression syndromes (for instance of the nervous structures) and other symptoms. They represent the most common origin of tumor-related pain, and can severely compromise the quality of life of a patient. On the other hand, the increased longevity of the population, the progresses in the cure of tumors and the improve in the patients' prognoses place an always greater importance on the development of strategies and techniques aiming at the treatment of bone metastases.

Bone metastases cause pain in the area of spread, damage and weaken the bone, increasing the risk of fractures and causing extreme complications to the patients' daily activities. The effects of the metastases vary depending to the tumor diffusion, the entity of the bone damage and the involved area.

The main advantages of the Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRgFUS) treatment for bone metastases pain palliation are:

  • it does not utilize ionizing radiations;
  • it does not cause systemic toxicity;
  • it can be repeated;
  • it is complementary or alternative to radiation therapy and other therapies;
  • faster effect than radiation therapy.

Treatment with Focused Ultrasound at Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute