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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Oct 15;34(22 Suppl):S78-92. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181b8b6f5.

Radiotherapy and radiosurgery for metastatic spine disease: what are the options, indications, and outcomes?

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1
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. gersztenpc@upmc.edu

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Systematic literature review.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the options, indications, and outcomes for conventional radiotherapy and radiosurgery for metastatic spine disease.

METHODS:

Three research questions were determined through a consensus among a multidisciplinary panel of spine oncology experts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted regarding radiotherapy and radiosurgery for metastatic spine disease using PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Evidence Based Medicine Database, and a review of bibliographies of reviewed articles.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

1. What are the clinical outcomes of the current indications for conventional radiotherapy alone and stereotactic radiosurgery for metastatic spine disease? 2. What are the current dose recommendations and fractionation schedules for conventional spine radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery for metastatic spine disease? 3. What are the current known patterns of failure and complications after conventional spine radiation and stereotactic radiosurgery for metastatic spine disease?

RESULTS:

For conventional radiotherapy, the initial literature search yielded a total of 531 potentially relevant abstracts. Each of these abstracts was reviewed for relevance, and 62 were selected for in-depth review. Forty-nine studies met all the inclusion criteria. References from the articles included in the analysis and review articles were also examined for potential inclusion in the study. For conventional radiotherapy, 3 randomized trials (high-quality evidence), 4 prospective studies (moderate-quality evidence), and over 40 nonprospective data sets (low- or very-low-quality evidence) that included over 5000 patients in the literature were included in this review. Drawing from the same databases, a systematic search for radiosurgery yielded 195 abstracts, of which 29 met all inclusion criteria. They all represented single-institution reports (low- or very-low-quality data). No randomized data are available for spine radiosurgery.

CONCLUSION:

A systematic review of the available evidence suggests that conventional radiotherapy is safe and effective with good symptomatic response and local control, particularly for radiosensitive histologies. A strong recommendation can be made with moderate quality evidence that conventional fractionated radiotherapy is an appropriate initial therapy option for patients with spine metastases in cases in which no relative contraindication exists. A systematic review of the available evidence suggests that radiosurgery is safe and provides an incremental benefit over conventional radiotherapy with more durable symptomatic response and local control independent of histology, even in the setting of prior fractionated radiotherapy. A strong recommendation can be made with low-quality evidence that radiosurgery should be considered over conventional fractionated radiotherapy for the treatment of solid tumor spine metastases in the setting of oligometastatic disease and/or radioresistant histology.

PMID:
19829280
DOI:
10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181b8b6f5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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