Evaluation of quality of life outcomes following palliative radiotherapy in bone metastases: a literature review

Christina Koufopoulou, Eftychia Mosa, Nick Charalampakis, Michail Nikolaou, Nikolaos Tsoukalas, Ioanna Nixon, Haytham Saraireh, Jiannis Hajiioannou, Dimitrios Kardamakis, George Kyrgias, Maria Tolia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: To assess the quality of life (QoL) following palliative radiotherapy (RT) in patients with painful bone metastases. Methods: A literature search limited to English-written publications was carried out, through the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (November 2018), OvidSP and PubMedCentral (1940-November 2018) databases. Subject headings and keywords included "quality of life"(QoL), "bone metastases", "palliative therapy", "pain" and "radiotherapy". Original articles, literature reviews, trials and meta-analyses revealing alterations in QoL post-RT using ratified measuring tools were examined. Studies referring to other types of metastases (e.g. brain metastases), or to other types of palliative therapy (e.g. the use of bisphosphonates alone), or focusing only on pain, or even reporting QoL only before or only after the use of RT were excluded. Results: Twenty four articles were selected from a total of 1360 articles. Seven trials proceeded to patients' randomization. The most commonly used tool to evaluate QoL was EORTC, followed by Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) questionnaires. All studies showed improvement in symptoms and functional interference scores after RT. The QoL between responders (Rs) and non-responders (NRs) has been juxtaposed in 10 studies. Rs had a significant benefit in QoL in comparison with the NRs. Discussion: Palliative radiotherapy in painful bone metastases improves Rs' QoL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1747-1760
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of B.U.ON.: official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • quality of life
  • bone metastases
  • palliative therapy
  • pain
  • radiotherapy


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