Trial shows significant pain relief for spine cancer patients following targeted radiofrequency ablation treatment


DFINE has announced the publication of a multicentre study in the July/August issue of Pain Physician Journal, the official peer-reviewed publication of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP). The study followed patients at five leading academic centres and found a significant decrease (p <0.01) in pain scores after targeted radiofrequency ablation (t-RFA) with the Star tumour ablation system.

The participating centres included Washington University School of Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of Louisville Hospital and the University of California, San Diego, USA.


Physicians treated 128 lesions (metastatic tumours) in 92 patients. The average pain score before the procedure was 7.51 out of 10. Within one week post-procedure, the average pain score was reduced to just 1.73. Researchers also noted no patient complications or injuries.


“More than 40% of patients at the highest enrolling institution in this study had previous radiation treatment with little to no relief of symptoms,” says Jack W Jennings, assistant professor and director of Musculoskeletal and Spine Interventions, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, USA. “Our study showed significant and almost immediate reduction in pain and more than half of the patients also decreased their use of pain medication. The procedure also allowed us to treat tumours close to the spinal cord that we have not been able to treat in the past.”

“For late-stage cancer patients, extreme back pain due to spinal tumours degrades quality of life; and until now, limited minimally invasive procedural options for immediate pain relief have been available,” says Nam D Tran, neuro-oncology surgeon at Moffitt Cancer Center. “This multicentre study validates t-RFA as a treatment option that provides rapid, lasting pain relief without the need to interrupt the patient’s primary cancer therapy.”