Spine Cancer: Loyola Testing Pain Relieve Procedure | Loyola Medicine
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Loyola testing new procedure to relieve pain of cancer that has spread to spine

MAYWOOD, Ill. (December 30, 2014) – When metastatic cancer spreads to the spine, it can cause spinal fractures, severe pain and impaired mobility. Loyola University Medical Center has launched the first clinical trial in the United States of a minimally invasive treatment designed to help relieve pain, heal spinal fractures and prevent new fractures.

In metastatic cancer, the most common site the cancer spreads to are the bones, and the spine is the most common site of bone metastases. A tumor can weaken a vertebra, causing it to collapse on itself.

Loyola will test a new combination treatment that delivers radiation directly to the tumor and increases support of the spine.

First, an interventional radiologist makes a small incision into the spine and inserts a spinal applicator needle to deliver radiation directly to the tumor. This is called intraoperative radiotherapy. Because it is more precise than standard external beam radiation, intraoperative radiotherapy can deliver a higher dose of radiation, while minimizing adverse effects to normal tissue.

The second half of the operation is a procedure called a kyphoplasty. A catheter is inserted through the incision. A balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated to increase the height of the collapsed vertebra and a cementlike material then is injected into the radiated area to help stabilize the spine.

The purpose of the Phase 1 study is to learn about both the good and bad effects of combining intraoperative radiotherapy and kyphoplasty. 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 tumor and any complications.

The study is titled “Combining Intraoperative Radiotherapy with Kyphoplasty for Treatment of Spinal Metastases (Kypho-IORT )”. It is sponsored by the departments of Radiation Oncology and Radiology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The principal investigator is William Small Jr., MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. Co-investigators are Angelo Malamis, MD; Abhishek Solanki, MD; Karan Shah, MD; and Janushi Dalal, MD.

To qualify for the trial, a patient must meet several criteria, including being 50 or older and having metastatic cancer that has spread from a solid tumor to the spine. For more information, call 708-216-2568.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.