Treatment efficacy of 153Sm-EDTMP for painful bone metastasis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nuclear Medicine Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad, Iran

2 Radiopharmaceutical Research & Development Laboratory (RRDL), Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute (NSTRI), Tehran, Iran

3 School of pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Involvement of the skeleton can cause an excruciating pain in two-thirds of terminal patients with a history of malignancy. Due to several limitations of other therapies, such as analgesics, bisphosphonates, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and external beam radiotherapy; bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals have an important role in palliation of pain from bone metastases. Although these kinds of therapies have many advantages including the ability to treat multiple sites of tumoral involvement simultaneously, no significant confliction with other treatments, ease of administration and the potential to be used repetitively; in Iran using of this modality is not widely practiced. In this study we evaluated the clinical usefulness of Sm-153 lexidronamfor pain management of bone metastases.
Methods: 28 patients (14 males and 14 females) aged 38-77 years with a history of painful bone metastases caused by different cancers, not responding to conventional treatments were included in the study. All patients had a recent whole body bone scan indicating multiple bone metastases. 1 mCi/Kg Sm-153 lexidronam was injected intravenously to the patients. Whole body scintigraphy was done 3 or 18 hours post injection. Pain relief and quality of life have been evaluated by analog pain scale and Karnofsky index every week, respectively. Also, all patients were evaluated for hematological toxicity every two weeks. Active follow ups were performed.
Results: 43% of patients showed the presence of the flare phenomenon during the first three days after Sm injection with a mean duration of 2.2 days. The pain relief began between 2 and 16 days post injection and the duration of pain palliation was in the range of 4 to 32 weeks (mean±SD=15.22±7.8). 64.3% of patients showed complete relief of pain and 21.4% achieved partial response to therapy. (Over all response to therapy was 85.7%). The lowest amount of peripheral blood cells was detected in the fourth week for RBCs and in the 6th week for WBCs and PLTs. No one experienced hematological toxicity induced problems.
Conclusion:  Sm-153 lexidronam is an effective treatment for painful bone metastases. The complication rate is low and the quality of life of the patients after treatment would be significantly improved.