American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013

Don’t recommend more than a single fraction of palliative radiation for an uncomplicated painful bone metastasis.

As stated in the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2011 guideline, single-fraction radiation to a previously un-irradiated peripheral bone or vertebral metastasis provides comparable pain relief and morbidity compared to multiple-fraction regimens while optimizing patient and caregiver convenience. Although it results in a higher incidence of later need for retreatment (20% vs. 8 % for multi-fraction regimens), the decreased patient burden usually outweighs any considerations of long-term effectiveness for those with a limited life expectancy.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s (AAHPM) president appointed a special task force to coordinate the development of the Academy’s recommendations. Chaired by a member of the Board of Directors who had previously overseen AAHPM’s education and training committees, the task force included representatives of the Academy’s Quality and Practice Standards Task Force, Research Committee, Ethics Committee, Public Policy Committee and External Awareness Task Force, as well as at-large appointees that represent distinguished leaders in the field. The task force solicited input from AAHPM’s 17 Special Interest Groups, and task force members also offered their own suggestions for the list. Considering the potential impact and evidence to support the proposed recommendations, the task force identified seven finalists for which a rationale and evidence base was further developed. All AAHPM members were invited to comment on and rank these seven recommendations. Member feedback informed the task force’s final deliberation, which included narrowing the list to the “Five Things” and refining the verbiage of the recommendations. The list was then reviewed and approved by the AAHPM Executive Committee.

AAHPM’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.aahpm.org

Sources

Lutz S, Berk L, Chang E, Chow E, Hahn C, Hoskin P, Howell D, Konski A, Kachnic L, Lo S, Sahgal A, Silverman L, von Gunten C, Mendel E, Vassil A, Bruner DW, Hartsell W. Palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases: An ASTRO evidence-based guideline. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011;79(4),965-976.