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Metastatic bone disease is a common and severe complication in patients with advanced cancer. Radiotherapy (RT) has long been established as an effective local treatment for metastatic bone disorder. This study assesses the effects of RT combined with muscle-training exercises in patients with unstable bone metastases of the spinal column from solid tumors. The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of muscle-training exercises concomitant to RT. Secondly, quality of life, fatigue, overall and bone survival, and local control will be assessed.
This study is a single-center, prospective, randomized, controlled, explorative intervention study with a parallel-group design to determine multidimensional effects of a course of exercises concomitant to RT on patients who have unstable metastases of the vertebral column, first under therapeutic instruction and subsequently performed by the patients themselves independently for strengthening the paravertebral muscles. On the days of radiation treatment the patients will be given four different types of exercises to ensure even isometric muscle training of all the spinal muscles. In the control group progressive muscle relaxation will be carried out parallel to RT. The patients will be randomized into two groups: differentiated muscle training or progressive muscle relaxation with 30 patients in each group.
Despite the clinical experience that RT is an effective treatment for bone metastases, there is insufficient evidence for a positive effect of the combination with muscle-training exercises in patients with unstable bone metastases. Our previous DISPO-1 trial showed that adding muscle-training exercises to RT is feasible, whereas this was not proven in patients with an unstable spinal column. Although associated with several methodological and practical challenges, this randomized controlled trial is needed.
ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT02847754. Registered on 27 July 2016.