Canadian Cancer Trials Group Bulletins

Trial Management Group

Citation: SC.23,dexamethasone lowers the rate of pain flare

Chow S, Ding K, Wan BA, Brundage M, Meyer RM, Nabid A, Chabot P, Coulombe G, Ahmed S, Kuk J, Dar AR, Mahmud A, Fairchild A, Wilson CF, Wu JSY, Dennis K, DeAngelis C, Wong RKS, Zhu L, Chow E. Patient Reported Outcomes After Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases as a Function of Age: A Secondary Analysis of the NCIC CTG SC-Twenty-Three Randomized Trial (ONLINE). American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine 1049909117733435, 2017.

Results of Canadian Cancer Trials Group SC.23 show that dexamethasone lowers the rate of pain flare in cancer patients with bone metastases undergoing radiation therapy for symptom control.

The results of Canadian Cancer Trials Group SC.23 show that dexamethasone reduces radiation-induced pain flare in cancer patients with painful bone metastases. Dr. Edward Chow, trial co-chair and radiation oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, presented these findings yesterday at the American Society for Radiation Oncology?s (ASTRO?s) 57th Annual Meeting.

Patients with cancer that has spread (metastasized) to their bones can experience debilitating bone pain. While radiation therapy (RT) is commonly used to treat patients with bone metastases to lessen this pain, it can also temporarily cause pain flare, a worsening of the pain, in some patients. The trial, led and conducted by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, was a double-blind study that compared the effectiveness of dexamethasone, a steroid which aids in controlling inflammation, to a placebo in reducing the incidence of pain flare. The study also looked at toxicity (side effects) and the impact on the patients? quality of life.

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