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CCTG SC29 trial opens, researchers will be evaluating stereotactic body radiotherapy for palliative pain management

The Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) has now activated the symptom control trial SC29 evaluating high precision stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to conventional palliative radiotherapy (CRT) for patients with advanced cancer and a painful non-spine bone metastasis. SBRT represents a high dose treatment typically offered in the curative cancer setting; however, its role as a palliative treatment to improve pain for these patients is unknown. 

“Given the positive impact previously observed for SBRT to spinal metastases, there is an urgent need to prove if SBRT has the same degree of benefit in non-spine bone locations of metastatic disease given the diversity of anatomic sites and disease characteristics,” says Dr. Arjun Sahgal, Chief of Radiation Oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and CCTG study co-chair. “This trial will address the role of SBRT to a dominant site of non-spine bone metastases with respect to pain and quality of life.” 

For the researchers the question they hope to answer is, for bone metastases, is SBRT better for pain relief than the standard conventional radiation therapy? SBRT is high dose radiation therapy that targets painful areas of cancer, while keeping the radiation away from the healthy tissue around the cancer. CRT is radiation therapy that is directed at painful areas but using a lower dose and does not spare the normal tissues.

“Reducing the side effects of Radiation Therapy and concurrently increasing its beneficial delivery is a big win for patients,” says Hilary Horlock, CCTG Patient Representative. “At a time when you need as much energy as you can muster to manage pain and treatment, anything that eases the impact on skin, organs and overall quality of life, is a very good thing.”

Timothy Nguyen
Dr. Timothy Nguyen, SC29 trial Co-Chair
Dr. Arjun Sahgal
Dr. Arjun Sahgal, SC29 trial Co-Chair
Hilary Horlock CCTG Patient Representative
Hilary Horlock, CCTG Patient Representative
Dr. Wendy Parulekar, CCTG Senior Investigator
Dr. Wendy Parulekar, CCTG Senior Investigator