Gender and age make no difference in the re-irradiation of painful bone metastases: A secondary analysis of the NCIC CTG SC.20 randomized trial

Ronald Chow, Keyue Ding, Vithusha Ganesh, Ralph M. Meyer, Yvette M. van der Linden, Daniel Roos, William F. Hartsell, Peter Hoskin, Jackson S. Y. Wu, Abdenour Nabid, Manouk van Acht, Rinus Wanders, Scott Babington, William F. Demas, Carolyn F. Wilson, Rebecca K. S. Wong, Michael Brundage, Liting Zhu, Edward Chow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and purpose: Patient's gender and age may influence physicians in prescribing palliative radiotherapy. The purpose of this secondary analysis of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group Symptom Control Trial SC.20 was to explore the gender and age differences in pain and patient reported outcomes in cancer patients with bone metastases undergoing re-irradiation.

Materials and methods: Response to radiation was evaluated using the International Bone Metastases Consensus Endpoint Definitions. Patients completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (00) before and 2 months after re-irradiation.

Results: A total of 847 patients were analyzed. At baseline, men had more dyspnea, and mild pain. Older patients consumed less analgesic. More women reported clinically significant improvement in mood and enjoyment of life in the BPI after radiation. Similarly, younger patients reported better improvement in enjoyment of life. There were no significant gender or age differences in overall survival, response to radiation, or in 00 scores at 2 months.

Conclusion: Similar benefit in terms of pain relief was observed across all patient groups. Cancer patients with bone metastases should be offered palliative re-irradiation irrespective of gender or age. Trial Registration: NCT00080912; (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Radiotherapy and Oncology 126 (2018) 541-546

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Gender
  • Age
  • Bone metastases
  • Radiotherapy
  • Pain response
  • Quality of life
  • Re-irradiation


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