Biomechanics of Metastatic Defects in Bone

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
15 Apr, 2019 ,

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is conducting an Observational study in 245 participants to monitor fracture risk associated with bone tumors in cancer patients. 

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Previous studies from our lab have suggested that it is possible to compute the mechanical strength of bones with tumors using computed tomography (CT) scans, which are like three-dimensional X-ray pictures of the affected bones.

The next step in determining the usefulness of this type of strength analysis is to see if we can accurately predict who is at risk for bone fracture and which patients are at high risk of fractures.

This non-invasive analysis may help physicians determine the best treatment to reduce the risk of an impending bone fracture in the future.

Fracture Risk Assessment in Patients with Skeletal Metastasis [ Time Frame: 0-4 Months ]

Based on past studies, metastatic lesion in cancer bone alters both the material and geometric properties of the bone while rigidity, the structural property, integrates both two properties in bone. For a cancerous bone, the axial (EA), bending (EI), and torsional (GJ) rigidity determine the capacity of the bone to resist axial, bending and twisting loads respectively. Because the weakest segment of the bone dictates the load capacity of the entire bone, we have developed algorithms to calculate the minimal rigidity of a bone with an osteolytic lesion using serial, trans-axial, computed tomography (CT) images through the affected bone to measure both the bone tissue mineral density and cross-sectional geometry.

If the ratio of EA, EI or GI in compare with the normal bone's EA, EI, or GI was 65% or less, pathological fracture will be predicted. This non-invasive analysis may help physicians determine the best treatment to reduce the risk of an impending bone fracture in the future.