Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Surgery was carried out on 118 patients with spinal metastatic diseases; 80 operations were palliative and 38 were curative. All patients who survived 1 year or more and all those who had local recurrence before dying (total n=58) were included in this study. The aim of the study was to identify the factors that determine the success of local control in order to develop a new technique that could prevent local recurrence. From among the different factors that may influence the oncological result, a retrospective study concentrated particularly on the following items: sex of the patient, location and extension of the tumor on the spine, tumor involvement on the vertebra itself, and quality of tumor excision. These factors seem to have no or little influence on local control. However, sensitivity of the primary cancer to adjuvant treatments (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonotherapy) and correct timing of the radiation therapy, which must be performed after, rather than before, surgery, seem to improve local control significantly. The authors therefore suggest two options for treatment. When the primary cancer is sensitive to adjuvant treatments, ‘palliative’ surgery with posterior fixation and nerve decompression seems sufficient to attain good function and adequate oncological results. On the other hand, when the primary cancer is resistant to adjuvant treatment or when the lesion recurs after radiation therapy, more aggressive surgery must be carried out. Complete excision of the tumor after embolization, with may be even associated local chemotherapy, is required. However, even when this is carried out, local control is difficult to achieve.
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