Radiation for Bone Mets

Radiation for Bone Metastases

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high energy beams to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. A radiation oncologist treats with radiation therapy and is a very important team member for the treatment of bone metastases. Under the influence of radiation, tumor growth and the spread of metastases slows down. Radiation therapy is also prescribed to patients to relieve pain. “A single dose of radiation may relieve pain,” states Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, M.D.

There are several types of radiation include:

  • External-beam radiation therapy (EBRT): given as multiple fractions or as a single fraction in high dose.
  • External radiation has a strong role in treating pain and controlling the tumor.
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy and cyber knife radiosurgery (SBRT)
  • Two-dimensional and three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (RT)
  • Image-guided intensity modulated RT and tomotherapy


The decision for dosage and fraction is determined by location, symptoms, tumor size and indication for treatment. The decision will be made carefully with both the radiation oncologist, other members of the treatment team, and the patient.

Proton Therapy for Bone Metastases

Proton therapy helps to safely heal some of the bone metastases. This method is more accurate and safer than radiation therapy and causes fewer side effects. Proton therapy can be administered to older people without fear of the negative effects of treatment.