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Int Arch Med. 2013 Feb 18;6(1):6. doi: 10.1186/1755-7682-6-6.

Pain and quality of life in patients undergoing radiotherapy for spinal metastatic disease treatment.

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Hospital Estadual Mário Covas, Santo André, SP, Brazil.



Radiotherapy is an important tool in the control of pain in patients with spinal metastatic disease. We aimed to evaluate pain and of quality of life of patients with spinal metastatic disease undergoing radiotherapy with supportive treatment.


The study enrolled 30 patients. From January 2008 to January 2010, patients selection included those treated with a 20 Gy tumour dose in five fractions. Patients completed the visual analogue scale for pain assessment and the SF-36 questionnaire for quality of life assessment.


The most frequent primary sites were breast, multiple myeloma, prostate and lymphoma. It was found that 14 spinal metastatic disease patients (46.66%) had restricted involvement of three or fewer vertebrae, while 16 patients (53.33%) had cases involving more than three vertebrae. The data from the visual analogue scale evaluation of pain showed that the average initial score was 5.7 points, the value 30 days after the end of radiotherapy was 4.60 points and the average value 6 months after treatment was 4.25 points. Notably, this final value was 25.43% lower than the value from the initial analysis. With regard to the quality of life evaluation, only the values for the functional capability and social aspects categories of the questionnaire showed significant improvement.


Radiotherapy with supportive treatment appears to be an important tool for the treatment of pain in patients with spinal metastatic disease.

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