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Treatment with bone-seeking radionuclides for painful bone metastases in patients with lung cancer: a systematic review
  1. Helle D Zacho1,2,
  2. Nita N Karthigaseu1,
  3. Randi F Fonager1 and
  4. Lars J Petersen1,2
  1. 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Clinical Cancer Research Center, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helle D Zacho, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital, Hobrovej 18-22, Postboks 365, Aalborg DK-9000, Denmark; h.zacho{at}


Treatment with bone-seeking radionuclides may provide palliation from pain originating from bone metastases. However, most studies have been conducted in patients with prostate cancer and patients with breast cancer. We aimed to perform a systematic review of the use of radionuclide treatment in lung cancer in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. In the eligible trials, pain relief was reported in 75% of the patients included in the studies. The onset of pain relief was seen within 1–5 weeks after treatment, lasting up to 6 months. However, the methodology in the included trials was poor—only two randomised trials were eligible, and none of them compared radionuclide treatments with placebo or best standard of care. The remaining trials were case series with inherent problems of methodology reporting. Particularly challenging was the lack of reporting of baseline disease status and use of prior/concomitant analgaesics. Large randomised controlled trials are needed to clarify the efficacy of radionuclide treatment in lung cancer.

  • Cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Symptoms and symptom management

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