Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

ASTRO 2021: Use of Radiotherapy in Palliation of Multiple Myeloma Bone Lesions

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Monday, November 1, 2021

Accrual is ongoing for a trial assessing the use of radiotherapy as a palliative measure for patients with painful multiple myeloma bone lesions. On behalf of her colleagues, Leslie K. Ballas, MD, of the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, presented information regarding this application of low-dose radiotherapy at the 2021 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 2629).

Supported by the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group, this trial is enrolling patients at seven institutions, with one more in the process of opening. Participants in the study will complete quality-of-life and pain questionnaires before treatment and will repeat these surveys at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 6 months following therapy. Pain response will be quantified using the Brief Pain Index and daily oral morphine equivalent. Patients will receive 2 Gy x 2, with the option for reirradiation at the same dose 4 weeks later, for indeterminate or progressive pain.

The trial has already enrolled 18 patients. The accrual process has slowed down from 1.5 patients per month before the COVID-19 pandemic to 0.7 patients per month after the pandemic. The median age of patients already enrolled is 65.5 years, and 7 of the 18 patients are female. There are 12 patients with a European Cooperative Oncology Group performance score of 1 or 2.

Among the cohort, 13 had a pain response at 4 weeks after radiotherapy. The remaining five patients did not complete surveys 4 weeks after radiotherapy due to pain progression (one patient), missed evaluation (one patient), loss of follow-up (one patient), or death (two patients). The most common site of treatment was the shoulder (4 of the 18 patients).

Disclosure: For Dr. Ballas’ disclosures, visit

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