Radiation therapy for bone metastasis from hepatocellular carcinoma

Woong Sub Koom, Jin Sil Seong, Min Jeong Lee, Hee Cheul Park, Kwang Hyub Han, Jae Yoon Chon, Young Myoung Moon, Chang Ok Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Recent advances in both diagnosis and treatment have markedly improved the prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Bone metastasis has become a clinical problem in the treatment of HCC patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the palliative effect of radiotherapy for painful bone metastasis from HCC. METHODS: From January 1991 to June 2000, 51 patients (77 sites) with painful bone metastasis from HCC were retrospectively analyzed. Ages ranged from 21 to 80 years (median 55 years). The male:female ratio was 7.5:1. Synchronous or metachronous bone metastasis was seen in 20 (39%) and 31 patients (61%), respectively. The most common symptom of bone metastasis was pain (45 patients, 88%). Twenty-one patients (41%) had a solitary bone metastasis while 30 (59%) had multiple ones. The sites of bone metastasis, in order of frequency, were the vertebra (38), rib (20), and pelvis (19). The total radiation dose ranged from 12.5 to 50 Gy (median 30 Gy). The Wisconsin Brief Pain Questionnaire was used to evaluate pain response. RESULTS: The overall 1 and 2 year survival rates from the time of bone metastasis were 15% and 4%, respectively. The median survival time was 5 months. Intrahepatic stage(p=0.014), and metastasis to other organs(p=0.019) were significant prognostic factor for survival by univariate analysis. There was, however, no independent prognostic factor on multivariate analysis. Pain relief after radiotherapy was achieved for 56 sites (73%). CONCLUSION: The expected life span (median 5 months) in this group of patients suggests a strong necessity for effective treatment for symptomatic palliation. Radiation therapy was effective in pain palliation for bone metastasis from HCC, and this could improve patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-311
Number of pages8
JournalTaehan Kan Hakhoe chi = The Korean journal of hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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