Long-Term Follow-Up of Patients with Metastatic Epidural Spinal Cord Compression from Solid Tumors Submitted for Surgery Followed by Radiation Therapy

Federico Pessina, Pierina Navarria, Giulio Alberto Carta, Giuseppe Roberto D'Agostino, Elena Clerici, Marco Conti Nibali, Francesco Costa, Maurizio Fornari, Marta Scorsetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the outcome of patients with epidural spinal cord compression from different solid tumors treated with a combined approach, surgery plus radiotherapy (RT), with a follow-up longer than 10 years.

METHODS: Ninety-seven patients treated between 2002 and 2009 were included. Surgical treatment was performed in patients with good performance status, limited metastatic disease, life expectancy longer than 3 months, and progressive neurologic deficit and/or intractable pain. RT was performed delivering a median total dose of 30 Gy in 10 fractions. Clinical outcome was evaluated using the modified visual analog scale for pain, the Frankel scale for neurologic deficit, and magnetic resonance imaging before treatment, after treatment, and every 3 months thereafter.

RESULTS: Palliative decompression was performed in 27% of patients, tumor curettage (debulking) was performed in 51%, and total vertebrectomy was performed in 22%, followed by RT in 78% of cases. Pain remission was obtained in 98% of patients, and recovery of neurologic function was obtained in 51%. The median follow-up time was 135 months (range, 96-209 months). The 5- and 10-year local control rates were 82.8% and 82.8%, respectively. The median and 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 12 months, 16.9%, and 11.3%, respectively; the median and 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 18 months, 21.3%, and 12%, respectively. On univariate and multivariate analysis, factors recorded as conditioning survival were the performance status and the presence of other metastases at the time of vertebral treatment (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Our update confirmed that surgery plus RT is a safe and feasible treatment with limited morbidity. In selected patients with favorable prognostic factors, the combined treatment may significantly impact on survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e681-e687
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy/methods
  • Decompression, Surgical/methods
  • Epidural Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Compression/diagnosis
  • Spinal Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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