Bone sarcoma of the spine

Klaus Dieter Schaser, I. Melcher, A. Luzzati, A. C. Disch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary malignant bone tumors of the vertebral column, i.e., bone sarcomas of the spine, are inherently rare entities. Vertebral osteosarcomas and chordomas represent the largest groups, followed by the incidence of chondro-, fibro-, and Ewing's sarcomas. Detailed clinical and neurological examination, complete radiographic imaging [radiographs, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)], and biopsy are the decisive diagnostic steps. Oncosurgical staging for spinal tumors can serve as a decision-guidance system for an individual's oncological and surgical treatment. Subsequent treatment decisions are part of an integrated, multimodal oncological concept. Surgical options comprise minimally invasive surgery, palliative stabilization procedures, and curative, wide excisions with complex reconstructions to attain wide or at least marginal resections. The most aggressive mode of surgical resection for primary vertebral column tumors is the total en bloc vertebrectomy, i.e., single-or multilevel en bloc spondylectomy. En bloc spondylectomy involves a posterior or combined anterior/posterior approach, followed by en bloc laminectomy, circumferential (360°) vertebral dissection, and blunt ventral release of the large vessels, intervertebral discectomy and rotation/ en bloc removal of the vertebra along its longitudinal axis. Due to the complex interdisciplinary approach and the challenging surgical resection techniques involved, management of vertebral bone sarcomas is recommended to be performed in specific musculoskeletal tumor centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-167
Number of pages27
JournalRecent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progres dans les recherches sur le cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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