Tag Archives: metastatic spinal cancer

Limited Spinal Tumor Resection with Stereotactic Radiosurgery

For patients with metastatic spinal cancer, more limited tumor resection paired with very high-dose radiation treatments delivered using stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) marks a major shift in treatment. Previously, the standard was highly invasive spinal surgical procedures and the use of low-dose conventional external beam radiation therapy regimens.¹ The conventional approaches to treatment have traditionally been highly morbid and often involve circumferential tumor resection, conventional external beam radiation therapy over as many as 10 to 15 sessions, and spinal surgery aimed at achieving bone fusion. Brad Zacharia, MD, MS, director, neuro-oncology and skull base surgery, Penn State Neuroscience Institute, notes, “With more aggressive resection and stabilization paired with low-dose radiation, the outcomes are often poor, with long periods of recovery, neurologic complications and inadequate tumor control.”

“Championed by Mark Bilsky, MD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and now implemented at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center,” Dr. Zacharia explains, “this is a very different way of thinking about metastatic tumors of the spine. Tumor resection is aimed at decompression, stabilization and creating room around the spine to allow safe delivery of high-dose radiation. The main means of tumor control is image-guided SBRT rather than surgical resection.” Continue reading

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