Many men with metastatic prostate cancer will suffer compression fractures in their spine. Since the spine is one of the most common sites for metastatic spread of the disease, the vertebrae often become brittle and at a very high risk for fractures. Hormone therapy and radiation therapy can also have a weakening effect on bone increasing the risk of these very debilitating fractures.

Professor Leonard Bastian from Klinikum Leverkusen in German led an international trial of a new technique to treat spinal compression fractures, called balloon kyphoplasty. Results of the trial were released at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan.

“Balloon Kyphoplasty is defined as a minimally invasive surgical procedure. A surgeon inserts a small orthopedic balloon through a 1 cm incision into the fractured vertebra. Then the balloon is inflated to restore the shape and height of the vertebrae. The balloon is then deflated and removed. Then quick-setting bone cement is injected in the vertebral body restoring the shape and strength of the vertebrae.

Prof Bastian reported the results of the trial which incl