Combination ibandronate and radiotherapy for the treatment of bone metastases: clinical evaluation and radiologic assessment.

Research paper by Vassilios V Vassiliou, Christine C Kalogeropoulou, Christos C Christopoulos, Ekaterini E Solomou, Michael M Leotsinides, Dimitrios D Kardamakis

Indexed on: 07 Nov '06Published on: 07 Nov '06Published in: International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics


Ibandronate is a single-nitrogen, noncyclic bisphosphonate with proven efficacy for reducing metastatic bone pain. In this study, we assessed the palliative effects of combined ibandronate and radiotherapy.Forty-five patients with bone metastases from various solid tumors received external-beam radiotherapy, 30-40 Gy over 3-4.5, weeks combined with 10 cycles of monthly intravenous ibandronate, 6 mg.After combined therapy, mean bone pain scores (graded from 0 to 10) were reduced from 6.3 at baseline to 0.8 after 3 months, with further reductions at later time points (all p < 0.001). Opioid use decreased from 84% of patients at baseline (38/45) to 24% (11/45) at 3 months, with further subsequent reductions (all p < 0.001). Mean performance status and functioning scores also significantly improved. Bone density (assessed by computed tomography scan) increased by 20% vs. baseline at 3 months, 46% at 6 months, and 73% at 10 months (all p < 0.001). Lesion improvement was also demonstrated by magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment was well tolerated with no renal toxicity.In this pilot study, combined radiotherapy and ibandronate provided substantial bone pain relief and increased bone density. Computed tomography-based or magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluations offer objective methods for assessing therapeutic outcomes.