External Beam Radiation Therapy Post Surgery in Patients With Lower Extremity Bone Metastases Randomized Efficacy Trial

Official Title

A Phase III Multicentre Randomized Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Post-Operative Conventional External Beam Radiation Therapy Following Orthopaedic Surgery in Patients With Lower Extremity Bone Metastases


The objective of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of post-operative radiation therapy in lower extremity bone metastases. This trial will compare the health outcomes of patients receiving radiation therapy after Orthopaedic surgery to patients who will not receive radiation therapy post-surgery. The primary objective of the study is to compare the need for a subsequent surgery at the same treatment site within 12 months of the initial surgery. Additionally, the need for radiation or re-irradiation, functional status, performance status, pain scores, radiologically detected local disease progression, and overall length of survival will be compared at clinical endpoints for the two study arms. It is hypothesized that those randomized to receive post-operative radiation therapy will less likely need a subsequent surgery within the 12 months after the primary surgical intervention. This may optimize the quality of life for this patient population.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Subsequent surgery after primary surgery
Secondary Outcome:
  • Re-irradiation/radiation
  • Subsequent surgery (between 13 months and 24 months)
  • Post-operative functional status and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS)
  • Post-operative pain and analgesic use
  • Radiologically determined local progression
  • Quality of life through functional ability
  • Overall survival
  • Cost-effectiveness

The incidence of bone metastases in advanced cancer patients is substantial, representing 70% of all metastatic sites. Approximately 5-10% of all patients with bone metastases develop pathological fractures. Surgical reconstruction can be helpful following fracture or prophylactically in cases of an impending fracture. In these cases, post-operative radiation is the current clinical practice in North America and many countries around the world. Post-operative radiation has the potential to support bone healing and prevent tumour progression while also decreasing the need for subsequent orthopaedic surgeries to the same site. A recent systematic review, however, challenged the evidence on its efficacy and adoption as standard of care in this patient population. As well, post-operative radiation requires additional visits to the radiation centre (associated with added costs and efforts for both the patients and the healthcare system). There is also a "pain flare" phenomenon, in which up to 40% of patients receiving radiation for palliative bone metastases experience pain within 1-5 days following radiation. The pain can last for 10 days and may acutely mask potential clinical benefits of radiation.

Given that there is potential negative impact to these patients who are palliative with a relatively short lifespan, it is important that the efficacy of post-operative radiation is rigorously evaluated.

We propose a multicentre randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of post-operative radiation following orthopaedic surgery in patients with lower extremity bone metastases. 300 patients with pending or established lower extremity pathological fracture will be recruited to a trial of surgery alone vs. surgery with post-operative radiation. The primary endpoint is a second surgery to the same site within 12 months. Secondary outcomes include quality of life, pain and functional outcome markers, radiation or re-irradiation as applicable, a second surgery within 24 months for those patients alive, overall survival and cost effectiveness.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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