Bone metastases are metastases of cancer in the bones. A metastases is a cancerous growth that has spread from one part of the body to another. For patients in later stage cancer, the cancer can spread from its original location (such as the breast or the lungs), and metastasize (develop) in another location, such as the bones.
Bone metastases are common in prostate cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer, but they can occur in almost all cancers. The bones most often affected by cancer cells are the vertebrae (spine), the pelvis, the long leg bones and the ribs. Bone metastases can be painless, but sometimes they can cause a lot of pain. Currently, primary options for treatment of painful bone metastases include radiation and pain medication. In some cases surgery is considered. However, this cancer induced bone pain is often difficult to treat with existing treatments. That is why research is being done into new or additional treatments for pain caused by bone metastases.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide an alternative to conventional therapy. It is a noninvasive treatment that allows for a quick return to normal life (usually the next day). A single therapy session can provide rapid and durable resolution of bone metastasis pain, and focused ultrasound pain relief does not have the adverse side effects of pain medications. It can also be repeated, if the pain should return.