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Radiother Oncol. 1994 Apr;31(1):33-40.

A comparison of the palliative effects of strontium-89 and external beam radiotherapy in metastatic prostate cancer.

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Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK.


From 1988 to 1991, 284 patients with prostatic cancer and painful bone metastases were treated with either radiotherapy or strontium-89 (200 MBq). Patients were first stratified according to suitability for local or hemibody radiotherapy, then randomly allocated that form of treatment or strontium-89 (i.v. injection). After 4, 8 and 12 weeks pain sites were mapped, toxicity monitored, and all additional palliative treatments recorded. There was no significant difference in median survival (after > 80% had died); 33 weeks following strontium-89 and 28 weeks following radiotherapy (p = 0.1). All treatments provided effective pain relief; improvement was sustained to 3 months in 63.6% after hemibody radiotherapy compared with 66.1% after strontium-89, and in 61% after local radiotherapy compared with 65.9% in the comparable strontium-89 group. Fewer patients reported new pain sites after strontium-89 than after local or hemibody radiotherapy (p < 0.05). Radiotherapy to a new site was required by 12 patients in the local radiotherapy group compared with 2 after strontium-89 (p < 0.01), although there was no significant difference between hemibody radiotherapy (6 patients) and strontium-89 (9 patients) in this respect. Platelets and leukocytes fell by an average 30-40% after strontium-89 but sequelae were uncommon, and other symptoms rare.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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