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Int J Surg Oncol. 2011;2011:979214. doi: 10.1155/2011/979214. Epub 2011 Jul 10.

Stereotactic body radiosurgery for spinal metastatic disease: an evidence-based review.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, 1365 Clifton Road NE, Suite CT-104, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Spinal metastasis is a problem that afflicts many cancer patients. Traditionally, conventional fractionated radiation therapy and/or surgery have been the most common approaches for managing such patients. Through technical advances in radiotherapy, high dose radiation with extremely steep drop off can now be delivered to a limited target volume along the spine under image-guidance with very high precision. This procedure, known as stereotactic body radiosurgery, provides a technique to rapidly treat selected spinal metastasis patients with single- or limited-fraction treatments that have similar to superior efficacies compared with more established approaches. This review describes current treatment systems in use to deliver stereotactic body radiosurgery as well as results of some of the larger case series from a number of institutions that report outcomes of patients treated for spinal metastatic disease. These series include nearly 1400 patients and report a cumulative local control rate of 90% with myelopathy risk that is significantly less than 1%. Based on this comprehensive review of the literature, we believe that stereotactic body radiosurgery is an established treatment modality for patients with spinal metastatic disease that is both safe and highly effective.

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