OBJECT: Spinal metastases are prevalent in the population of patients with cancer. Effective cancer therapy must incorporate treatment strategies for these lesions. Increasingly, surgery is being recognized as an effective treatment modality both for the patient's quality of life and potential oncological cure. En bloc spondylectomy is the surgical procedure of choice to obtain these goals. The purpose of this study was to examine critically the rationale, indications, and outcomes of en bloc spondylectomy for spinal metastases. METHODS: Outcomes in the authors' series of patients who underwent en bloc spondylectomy for spinal metastases are critically analyzed. The rationale and indications for this procedure are discussed. The Weinstein, Boriani, and Biagini surgical staging system for spinal tumors is described. A review of the literature is performed to examine further the rationale underlying this aggressive surgical approach to metastatic spinal disease. CONCLUSIONS: En bloc spondylectomy is the treatment of choice for solitary and oligometastatic spinal metastaseswith biologically favorable histological findings. In appropriately selected patients, neurological outcome, pain control, and oncological control are significantly better after en bloc spondylectomy compared with radiation therapy. Oncological outcomes also exceed those of intralesional techniques. The Weinstein, Boriani, and Biagini surgical staging system provides a standard with which to plan surgical approaches and to compare surgical outcomes.
|Publication status||Published - 2003|