Outcome after radiotherapy alone for metastatic spinal cord compression in patients with oligometastases

Dirk Rades*, Theo Veninga, Lukas J.A. Stalpers, Hiba Basic, Volker Rudat, Johann H. Karstens, Juergen Dunst, Steven E. Schild

*Corresponding author for this work
72 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate outcome and prognosis of metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) patients with oligometastatic disease treated with radiotherapy alone. Patients and Methods: Oligometastatic disease was defined as involvement of three or fewer vertebrae and lack of other bone or visceral metastases. Five hundred twenty-one patients with oligometastatic disease and MSCC were evaluated for functional outcome, ambulatory status, local control of MSCC, and survival. Furthermore, seven potential prognostic factors were investigated. Results: Motor function improved in 40% (n = 207), remained stable in 54% (n = 279), and deteriorated in 7% (n = 35) of patients. Fifty-eight (54%) of 107 nonambulatory patients became ambulatory, and 388 (94%) of 414 ambulatory patients remained ambulatory. Improved functional outcome was significantly associated with tumor type and slower development of motor deficits (> 14 days). Local control at 1, 2, and 3 years was 92%, 88%, and 78%, respectively. Improved local control was significantly associated with long-course radiotherapy. Survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 71%, 58%, and 50%, respectively. Better survival was significantly associated with tumor type, ambulatory status, slower development of motor deficits, and long-course radiotherapy. Patients who developed motor deficits slowly (onset > 14 days before initiating treatment) were further analyzed. In this subgroup, the best results were observed for myeloma/lymphoma and breast cancer patients. No patient had progression of motor deficits. One hundred percent (myeloma/lymphoma) and 99% (breast cancer) of patients were ambulatory after radiotherapy. One-year local control was 100% and 98%, 1-year survival was 94% and 89%. Conclusion: Given the limitations of a retrospective review, improved outcome of patients with oligometastatic MSCC was associated with myeloma/lymphoma and breast cancer, slower development of motor deficits, and a more prolonged course of radiation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2007


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