Heat zapps bone tumors

May 12, 2003

A team of radiologists and orthopedic specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine has successfully used heat generated by electrode-tipped probes to destroy painful, benign bone tumors in eight of nine patients in a clinical study.

The results of the study, published in the March issue of the Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology, suggests a need for further research to confirm the effectiveness of percutaneous radiofrequency for treating osteoid osteomas.

In the study, all eight patients achieved complete pain relief after thin probes were inserted through the skin into the core of the bone tumor, and radiofrequency energy was used to produce enough heat to destroy the tumor at its biological core. Five patients underwent the procedure with guidance provided by a new type of fast CT scanner incorporating CT fluoroscopy at 13 frames a second in three places at once.

Osteoid osteomas account for up to 12 percent of all benign bone tumors and occur primarily in children and young adults, according to Kieran Murphy, M.D., director of neurointerventional radiology at Hopkins and a member of the study team. While not life-threatening, the tumors can be extremely painful.

Standard treatment consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, when pain is severe and/or long-term conventional drug treatment causes complications, surgical removal is the usual alternative.

Murphy notes that while the reported success rate for such surgery is very high, it carries some risks. "Depending on the size of the bone tumor, bone fractures can occur at the site of the tumor removal and bone grafting may be required," he says.

While all eight of the patients benefitted, three achieved success only after re-treatment. Initial failures were attributed to the use of fluoroscopy alone for tumor localization, which provided less precise tumor images than did CT fluoroscopy. One patient eventually required surgical removal of the tumor to achieve complete pain relief. No immediate or delayed complications were observed in any of the patients treated.

"Based on these early results, it appears that CT fluoroscopy offers the most precise imaging method for localizing the most critical area of the tumor in which to place the heat probe," says Murphy. "Combining the minimally invasive approach of radiofrequency ablation and the enhanced imaging guidance of CT fluoroscopy gives us a potentially powerful new alternative for treating these tumors."
-end-
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases are available on an EMBARGOED basis on EurekAlert at http://www.eurekalert.org and from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs' direct e-mail news release service. To enroll, call 410-955-4288 or send e-mail to bsimpkins@jhmi.edu.

On a POST-EMBARGOED basis find them at http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Related Pain Articles from Brightsurf:

Pain researchers get a common language to describe pain
Pain researchers around the world have agreed to classify pain in the mouth, jaw and face according to the same system.

It's not just a pain in the head -- facial pain can be a symptom of headaches too
A new study finds that up to 10% of people with headaches also have facial pain.

New opioid speeds up recovery without increasing pain sensitivity or risk of chronic pain
A new type of non-addictive opioid developed by researchers at Tulane University and the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System accelerates recovery time from pain compared to morphine without increasing pain sensitivity, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

The insular cortex processes pain and drives learning from pain
Neuroscientists at EPFL have discovered an area of the brain, the insular cortex, that processes painful experiences and thereby drives learning from aversive events.

Pain, pain go away: new tools improve students' experience of school-based vaccines
Researchers at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have teamed up with educators, public health practitioners and grade seven students in Ontario to develop and implement a new approach to delivering school-based vaccines that improves student experience.

Pain sensitization increases risk of persistent knee pain
Becoming more sensitive to pain, or pain sensitization, is an important risk factor for developing persistent knee pain in osteoarthritis (OA), according to a new study by researchers from the Université de Montréal (UdeM) School of Rehabilitation and Hôpital Maisonneuve Rosemont Research Centre (CRHMR) in collaboration with researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

Becoming more sensitive to pain increases the risk of knee pain not going away
A new study by researchers in Montreal and Boston looks at the role that pain plays in osteoarthritis, a disease that affects over 300 million adults worldwide.

Pain disruption therapy treats source of chronic back pain
People with treatment-resistant back pain may get significant and lasting relief with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation therapy, an innovative treatment that short-circuits pain, suggests a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 annual meeting.

Sugar pills relieve pain for chronic pain patients
Someday doctors may prescribe sugar pills for certain chronic pain patients based on their brain anatomy and psychology.

Peripheral nerve block provides some with long-lasting pain relief for severe facial pain
A new study has shown that use of peripheral nerve blocks in the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) may produce long-term pain relief.

Read More: Pain News and Pain Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.