Stereotactic versus conventional radiotherapy for pain reduction and quality of life in spinal metastases: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Petra Braam*, Philippe Lambin, Johan Bussink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Painful spinal metastases have been treated with conventional radiotherapy for decades, but one-third of the patients have insufficient pain relief after treatment and one-fifth need retreatment. Stereotactic radiotherapy is a method to increase the dose in the spinal metastases with a potentially longer lasting palliative effect without increasing the side effects of the treatment and thereby is expected to improve the quality of life significantly.This study is a multicenter prospective randomized clinical trial comparing conventional radiotherapy (1 x 8 Gy) with stereotactic radiotherapy (1 x 20 Gy) for pain reduction and quality of life in patients with painful spinal metastases. A total of 386 patients will be randomized between the two treatment groups. Besides pain measured by the Dutch Brief Pain Inventory, quality of life and cost-effectiveness also will be measured. The primary outcome is pain reduction at 6 weeks after treatment. Secondary outcomes will be the time to pain response, duration of pain relief, health-related quality of life and toxicity, as well as cost-effectiveness.This study investigates whether stereotactic radiotherapy with dose escalation for symptomatic spinal metastases can lead to improved pain reduction as compared to conventional radiotherapy without an increase of treatment-related side effects. These results will contribute to the optimization and individualization of the treatment for the identifier NCT02407795 (March 31, 2015).
Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2016


  • Stereotactic
  • Spinal metastases
  • SBRT
  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Palliative radiotherapy
  • IMRT

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