Background: Bone metastases are believed to be the complications of cancer occurring in 20-75% of patients with advanced tumors. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is recommended in case of symptomatic bone metastases. Preventing skeletal-related events (SREs) and pain through early treatment of bone metastases is to be studied. We conducted the present study to investigate EBRT in asymptomatic bone metastases.
Method: A retrospective cohort study for patients with bone metastases without symptoms, who were treated with EBRT, formed group A. Group B comprised the patients who did not receive EBRT. The time from diagnosis to onset of the 1st SRE was recorded for both groups. The follow-up period was three years. Pain was moderate to severe when rated as 5/10.
Results: Asymptomatic bone metastases were found in 200 patients. They were free from pain or pathological fractures. They were divided into two groups of A and B. The overall demographics and disease characteristics were well-balanced for the two groups. The two groups were more or less similar concerning the mean age and sex, with no statistically significant differences; the mean age in groups A and B was 57 years. For both groups, the mean time from the occurrence of asymptomatic bony metastases to the onset of SRE were about 33 and 19 months for groups A and B, respectively, which is statistically significant.
Conclusion: Prophylactic EBRT of metastatic breast and prostate cancer patients should be considered in order to delay the onset of SREs and improve the quality of life.