Comparison of 1 x 8 Gy and 10 x 3 Gy for functional outcome in patients with metastatic spinal cord compression

Dirk Rades*, Lukas J.A. Stalpers, Maarten C. Hulshof, Kerstin Borgmann, Johann H. Karstens, Caro C.E. Koning, Winfried Alberti

*Corresponding author for this work
30 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Since life expectancy is markedly reduced in patients with metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC), a short and effective radiation schedule is desired. This study investigates a reduction of the overall treatment time to only one day by comparing 1 x 8 Gy to the multi-fractionated 10 x 3 Gy for functional outcome. Methods and Materials: Data of 204 patients, treated for MSCC with either 1 x 8 Gy (n = 96) or 10 x 3 Gy (n = 108), were analyzed retrospectively. Motor function and ambulatory status were evaluated before and up to 24 weeks after RT. A multivariate analysis (nominal regression) was performed including radiation schedule, performance status, age, irradiated vertebra, and relevant prognostic factors (histology, ambulatory status, time of developing motor deficits). Improvement of motor deficits was selected as basic category and compared with no change and deterioration. Results: Univariate analysis showed no significant difference between the schedules for post-treatment motor function and ambulatory rates. Multivariate analysis demonstrated a significant effect on functional outcome for the prognostic factors, but not for the radiation schedule (p = 0.853 for no change, p = 0.237 for deterioration). Conclusions: Our data suggest the two fractionation schedules to be comparably effective for functional outcome. Thus, 1 × 8 Gy should be considered for patients with a poor survival prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)514-518
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2005


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