PURPOSE:According to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for response of bone metastases to therapy, new lesions indicate progressive disease. We intended to prove that a new sclerotic lesion on conventional radiography may also be a sign of a positive therapeutic response in a previously undetectable lytic metastasis.MATERIAL AND METHODS:In a previous placebo-controlled clinical trial of clodronate (Ostac) therapy, 139 breast cancer patients with bone metastases underwent both conventional radiography and bone scan every 6 months for 2 years with 99mTc before and during clodronate treatment. WHO criteria were applied for therapy response evaluation.RESULTS:In 24 patients, 52 new sclerotic lesions observed during therapy were selected for re-evaluation of conventional radiographs and bone scans. In 8 of the 24 patients, 17 of 52 new sclerotic lesions (33%) had showed positive uptake on previous bone scans. These lesions were possibly misinterpreted as new when applying WHO criteria.CONCLUSION:For better assessment of new sclerotic lesions during treatment, more sensitive techniques, e.g. bone scan, are needed as a complement to conventional radiography.