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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Jun 1;71(2):484-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.11.046. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

High-dose, single-fraction image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy for metastatic spinal lesions.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



To report tumor control and toxicity for patients treated with image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (RT) for spinal metastases with high-dose single-fraction RT.


A total of 103 consecutive spinal metastases in 93 patients without high-grade epidural spinal cord compression were treated with image-guided intensity-modulated RT to doses of 18-24 Gy (median, 24 Gy) in a single fraction between 2003 and 2006. The spinal cord dose was limited to a 14-Gy maximal dose. The patients were prospectively examined every 3-4 months with clinical assessment and cross-sectional imaging.


The overall actuarial local control rate was 90% (local failure developed in 7 patients) at a median follow-up of 15 months (range, 2-45 months). The median time to local failure was 9 months (range, 2-15 months) from the time of treatment. Of the 93 patients, 37 died. The median overall survival was 15 months. In all cases, death was from progression of systemic disease and not local failure. The histologic type was not a statistically significant predictor of survival or local control. The radiation dose was a significant predictor of local control (p = 0.03). All patients without local failure also reported durable symptom palliation. Acute toxicity was mild (Grade 1-2). No case of radiculopathy or myelopathy has developed.


High-dose, single-fraction image-guided intensity-modulated RT is a noninvasive intervention that appears to be safe and very effective palliation for patients with spinal metastases, with minimal negative effects on quality of life and a high probability of tumor control.

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