First US trial to assess combination therapy with intraoperative radiotherapy and kyphoplasty begins


Kypho-IORT (Combining intraoperative radiotherapy with kyphoplasty for treatment of spinal metastases) will test a new combination treatment that delivers radiation directly to the tumour and increases support of the spine.

The phase I trial has been launched by Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, USA.

A press release from the medical centre describes the procedure as follows: at first, an interventional radiologist makes a small incision into the spine and inserts a spinal applicator needle to deliver radiation directly to the tumour, a procedure known as intraoperative radiotherapy. Due to this procedure being more precise than standard external beam radiation, intraoperative radiotherapy can deliver a higher dose of radiation, while minimising adverse effects to normal tissue. Intraoperative radiotherapy is then followed by balloon kyphoplasty to stabilise the spine.

The release also clarifies that to be eligible for enrolment, a patient must meet several criteria, including being 50 or older and having metastatic cancer that has spread from a solid tumour to the spine.

Researchers will compare the pain levels and use of pain medications before and after the procedure. They also will monitor quality-of-life issues, the effect of the procedure on the tumour and any complications.


The principal investigator is William Small, Jr, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology.