Metastic cancer and risk of bone fractures

Posted 7 Nov 2018

After lungs and liver, bone is the third most common part of the body affected by metastatic cancer. When patients develop tumours in their bones, the bone can weaken and fracture. The thigh bone is particularly susceptible to cancer tumours, and as a major weight-bearing bone, the risk of a fracture is increased.

We can see tumours on the thigh bone in x-rays, however it’s difficult to tell if they are at risk of fracture and need to be treated. Current scoring systems are effective at identifying patients at risk of an impending fracture, however they are not as effective at identifying those not at risk. This leads to unnecessary treatments for many patients.

Professor Mark Taylor of Flinders University’s College of Science and Engineering will use a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to develop computational models to better predict the risk of fracture.

Professor Taylor and his team will build models of patients from CT scans and simulate activities of daily living to assess the fracture risk.

By improving our ability to assess the risk of fracture, Professor Taylor’s research will lead to improved treatment methods and reduce unnecessary treatments for bone cancer patients.

This research is made possible thanks to a generous supporter and generous donations from the community.

Project title: Towards the prediction of femoral fracture risk in patients with bone metastases using computational tools

Lead Researcher: Mark Taylor


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