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An Innovative Treatment for Bone Mets from Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer are about 1 in 75. However, of all the reproductive organ cancers in women, it is the most feared as a “silent killer.” This is because it usually has no symptoms until it has begun to spread. Most commonly, the path of ovarian cancer metastasis (spread) is first to the lining of the abdomen (belly) and the organs it contains. However, as it becomes more advance, it tends to move to the liver or lungs. Less commonly, it can spread to the brain and bones. If it develops skeletal tumors (lesions), they are called ovarian cancer bone metastases, or bone mets.

Ovarian cancer bone mets

No one knows the exact number of ovarian cases that develop bone mets, but estimates suggest about 1% of cases. Bone mets may not be detected until symptoms begin, commonly bone pain or fractures. The most common sites are the spine and hips, though the ribs, breastbone and other locations may also be involved.

There is no cure for bone mets. The bone lesions may respond to a single or combined chemotherapy protocol. In addition, if the bone mets are producing pain that does not respond to drugs, local interventions may be suggested as palliative treatment (reduce or eliminate pain). Successful palliation has a positive effect because it improves quality of life for the patient and her caretakers.

MRgFUS for painful bone mets

There is an innovative alternative to surgical or radiation-based palliation treatments. It is a noninvasive, one-time outpatient treatment called MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS). This approach combined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify the bone lesion and to plan treatment. The treatment itself consists of focusing sound waves (ultrasound) from numerous directions into the targeted lesion. The ultrasound passes harmlessly through intervening tissues, but when the sound waves meet, or converge, they generate enough heat to ablate (destroy) the bone mets; at the same time, the ablation deadens the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain.

With 3-7 days after treatment, most patients have significant pain reduction – in some cases, almost zero pain. Results are usually lasting.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer bone mets, the Sperling Medical Group offers the Exablate MRgFUS to relieve bone pain. For more information, contact our Center, or visit our website.

Bone mets