J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol.  2011 Jun;29(2):63-70. 10.3857/jkstro.2011.29.2.63.

Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases from Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Effect of Radiation Dose Escalation

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. rophc@skku.edu
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To evaluate the extent of pain response and objective response to palliative radiotherapy (RT) for bone metastases from hepatocellular carcinoma according to RT dose.
From January 2007 to June 2010, palliative RT was conducted for 103 patients (223 sites) with bone metastases from hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment sites were divided into the high RT dose and low RT dose groups by biologically effective dose (BED) of 39 Gy10. Pain responses were evaluated using the numeric rating scale. Pain scores before and after RT were compared and categorized into 'Decreased', 'No change' and 'Increased'. Radiological objective responses were categorized into complete response, partial response, stable disease and progression using modified RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors) criteria; the factors predicting patients' survival were analyzed.
The median follow-up period was 6 months (range, 0 to 46 months), and the radiologic responses existed in 67 RT sites (66.3%) and 44 sites (89.8%) in the high and low RT dose group, respectively. A dose-response relationship was found in relation to RT dose (p=0.02). Pain responses were 75% and 65% in the high and low RT dose groups, respectively. However, no statistical difference in pain response was found between the two groups (p=0.24). There were no differences in the toxicity profiles between the high and low RT dose groups. Median survival from the time of bone metastases diagnosis was 11 months (range, 0 to 46 months). The Child-Pugh classification at the time of palliative RT was the only significant predictive factor for patient survival after RT. Median survival time was 14 months under Child-Pugh A and 2 months under Child-Pugh B and C.
The rate of radiologic objective response was higher in the high RT dose group. Palliative RT with a high dose would provide an improvement in patient quality of life through enhanced tumor response, especially in patients with proper liver function.


Hepatocellular carcinoma; Bone metastases; Radiotherapy

MeSH Terms

Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
Follow-Up Studies
Neoplasm Metastasis
Quality of Life
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