• Users Online: 161
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 143-144

Evolution of management of spinal tumors

1 Department of Spine Surgery, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Spine Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission13-Aug-2021
Date of Decision06-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance06-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication08-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Gautam R Zaveri
Department of Spine Surgery, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai 400026, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/isj.isj_81_21

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Zaveri GR, Krishnan V. Evolution of management of spinal tumors. Indian Spine J 2022;5:143-4

How to cite this URL:
Zaveri GR, Krishnan V. Evolution of management of spinal tumors. Indian Spine J [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 30];5:143-4. Available from: https://www.isjonline.com/text.asp?2022/5/2/143/346979

  Introduction Top

There has been a rapid evolution in cancer management over the past two decades. Early diagnosis of cancer, availability of newer systemic therapies including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted molecular therapy, and advancements in radiotherapy have resulted in significantly improved life expectancy.

Metastatic spinal disease (MSD) is the most common malignant affliction of the axial skeleton. Symptomatic patients usually present with pain, neurologic deficit, and loss of function. The primary goal of treatment of MSD is palliation, that is, to improve quality of life while limiting complications. Successful treatment must provide pain relief, allow preservation or recovery of neurologic function, and enable return to activities of daily living.

Although systemic control of the cancer determines the overall survival of a patient, local control of the spinal metastasis is required in order to alleviate pain, and preserve neurology and function. Local control of the metastasis also influences the overall survival of the patient. A longer life expectancy necessitates strategies for more lasting local tumor control in patients with spinal metastasis[1]

Radiotherapy alone or surgery followed by radiotherapy are the principal modalities for local control of MSD. Before the availability of radiotherapy, laminectomy for spinal cord decompression was the treatment for metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC). However, laminectomy fell into disrepute because of poor neurological outcomes resulting from inability to access the anterior spinal cord compression. In addition, laminectomy further destabilizes the spinal column resulting in pain, progressive deformity, and even neurologic deficit. Surgery was almost abandoned in favor of radiotherapy when studies showed that the outcomes following laminectomy with or without postoperative radiation were no better than those with radiation alone.[2],[3]

Surgery re-emerged as the preferred treatment for MSCC following Patchell’s landmark study that showed hugely superior outcomes in terms of regaining and retaining ambulation with modern spine surgery followed by radiation compared to radiation alone.[4],[5] With the advent of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), the pendulum has again swung in favor of radiotherapy as the primary treatment modality for local control of spinal metastasis with surgery being reserved for patients with spinal instability, significant epidural spinal cord compression with neurologic deficit and radioresistant tumors (in centers where stereotactic body radiation therapy [SBRT] is not available).[6],[7]

The rapid evolution in systemic therapies, and the introduction of SBRT for the management of spinal metastasis has challenged traditional paradigms for decision-making in patients with MSD, making it difficult for the treating team to decide on the most appropriate treatment strategy for a particular patient. The current symposium combines the best available evidence with expert opinion to guide practicing spinal surgeons in the management of MSD. Review articles on chemotherapy and radiotherapy provide an insight into the principal role of these modalities in the treatment armamentarium. Dr. Naresh Kumar and his team from the National University Hospital, Singapore have extensively discussed the role of spinal surgery. Dr. K Venkatesh’s literature review of the outcomes of surgery provides objectivity to surgical decision-making in MSD. The spine clinic section at the end highlights the need for a patient-specific approach to decision making depending on the technology and expertise available in ones’ practice.

We thank all the authors for their immense contributions. We sincerely hope that you enjoy and gain from the material presented in this symposium.

Financial support and sponsorship

Not applicable.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Cofano F, Monticelli M, Ajello M, Zenga F, Marengo N, Di Perna G, et al. The targeted therapies era beyond the surgical point of view: What spine surgeons should know before approaching spinal metastases. Cancer Control 2019;26:1073274819870549.  Back to cited text no. 1
Young RF, Post EM, King GA Treatment of spinal epidural metastases. Randomized prospective comparison of laminectomy and radiotherapy. J Neurosurg 1980;53:741-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sørensen S, Børgesen SE, Rohde K, Rasmusson B, Bach F, Bøge-Rasmussen T, et al. Metastatic epidural spinal cord compression. Results of treatment and survival. Cancer 1990;65:1502-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Patchell RA, Tibbs PA, Regine WF, Payne R, Saris S, Kryscio RJ, et al. Direct decompressive surgical resection in the treatment of spinal cord compression caused by metastatic cancer: A randomised trial. Lancet 2005;366:643-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Siegal T, Siegal T, Robin G, Lubetzki-Korn I, Fuks Z Anterior decompression of the spine for metastatic epidural cord compression: A promising avenue of therapy? Ann Neurol 1982;11:28-34.  Back to cited text no. 5
Garg AK, Shiu AS, Yang J, Wang XS, Allen P, Brown BW, et al. Phase ½ trial of single-session stereotactic body radiotherapy for previously unirradiated spinal metastases. Cancer 2012;118: 5069-77.  Back to cited text no. 6
Yamada Y, Katsoulakis E, Laufer I, Lovelock M, Barzilai O, McLaughlin LA, et al. The impact of histology and delivered dose on local control of spinal metastases treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. Neurosurg Focus 2017;42:E6.  Back to cited text no. 7


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded224    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal