Moffitt Cancer Center Researcher Seeks Participants For Non-Invasive Study To Treat Bone Tumor Pain

May 05, 2010

Tampa, FL – Dr. Junsung Choi, associate member of the department of Diagnostic Imaging at Moffitt Cancer Center, is searching for people suffering from bone tumor pain to participate in a research study.

Bone tumor pain is often caused by bone metastases and multiple myeloma. These conditions can cause deep pain and discomfort to the bone and may limit the activity levels of patients.

Bone is the third most common organ involved by metastatic diseases, and pain from bone metastases is the most common cause of pain from cancer. There have been a variety of treatment measures including chemotherapy, analgesics, radiofrequency ablation, and external beam radiation therapy, which have been the standard of care for bone pain. But pain may not be controlled or may recur after treatment.

Choi is using ExAblate, a magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound device developed by InSightec, on patients’ pain. ExAblate destroys pain-causing tissue with heat. Magnetic resonance imaging pinpoints the affected area of the bone metastasis, and the treatment device generates ultrasound waves that pass through the skin and into the body. These waves are focused to heat specific areas one spot at a time and destroy the nerves that cause pain surrounding the bone tumor.

This procedure does not treat the tumor but treats the pain caused by the tumor. The treatment is noninvasive, and normal bone tissue will not be affected by the heat.

Choi is recruiting participants who meet at least one of the following criteria

  • You have been diagnosed with bone metastases or multiple myeloma.
  • You have up to five painful bone sites due to tumor, with one being much more painful than the others.
  • You have gone through radiation and have not had any success with pain relief or the pain recurs.
  • You have not had success with other forms of treatment, or you are not allowed to have radiation due to medical reasons.

“We hope that this clinical trial will help us to better understand and treat bone pain in cancer patients, which will lead to decreased need for pain medications and improvement in the patient’s ability to function in daily activities,” Choi said.

A clinical consultation is needed to determine eligibility. Participants must undergo an MR imaging exam to evaluate affected areas and assess pain according to a pain scale. Accepted participants will be chosen on a randomized basis. Only one treatment is required, and the procedure will take two to three hours. Choi will monitor each participant for three months to examine changes in pain and medication use.

This treatment has a low rate of complications; however, the ultrasound treatment may cause some pain, skin burns or a fever. The device is limited to specific treatment areas, and at this time, the spine and skull cannot be treated.

This study is joined by 15 other worldwide health care centers. For more information on enrollment, contact Ann Creamer at or (813) 745-2264.

For more information on the bone metastases clincial trial, visit

About InSightecInSightec Ltd. is a privately held company owned by Elbit Imaging, General Electric, MediTech Advisors, LLC and employees. It was founded in 1999 to develop the breakthrough MR guided Focused Ultrasound technology and transform it into the next generation operating room. Headquartered near Haifa, Israel, the company has over 150 employees and has invested more than $100 million in research, development, and clinical investigations. Its U.S. headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please go to:

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 14 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.