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Painful bone metastases are a common problem for cancer patients. Although current evidence supports the use of a single fraction of radiotherapy as the treatment of choice, many radiotherapists, for a variety of reasons, continue to use fractionated regimens. Over one six month period 105 patients received external beam irradiation for painful bone metastases at the Royal London Hospital (RLH). Thirty-one per cent of the patients were aged 70 or over. The treatment of 97 of these patients was assessed. They had a total of 280 sites treated over the course of their disease. Fifty-nine per cent of sites treated received a fractionated course of radiotherapy. Site significantly influenced fractionation. Overall response rates of 82% were achieved. Fractionation did not appear to influence this. Ten patients received large field irradiation. Fifteen patients had five or more sites irradiated, of whom only one received hemibody irradiation.