Incidence and prognosis of patients with spinal metastasis as the initial manifestation of malignancy: analysis of 338 patients undergoing surgical treatment

AIMS:

This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and prognosis of patients with spinal metastasis as the initial manifestation of malignancy (SM-IMM).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records of 338 patients who underwent surgical treatment for metastatic spinal disease. The enrolled patients were divided into two groups. The SM-IMM group included patients with no history of malignancy whose site of primary malignancy was diagnosed after the identification of spinal metastasis. The other group included patients with a history of treatment for primary malignancy who then developed spinal metastasis (SM-DTM). The incidence of SM-IMM by site of primary malignancy was calculated. The difference between prognoses after surgical treatment for SM-IMM and SM-DTM was established.

RESULTS:

The median follow-up period was 11.5 months (interquartile range (IQR) 3.2 to 13.4) after surgical treatment. During the follow-up period, 264 patients died; 74 patients survived. The SM-IMM group consisted of 94 patients (27.8%). The site of primary malignancy in the SM-IMM group was lung in 35/103 patients (34.0%), liver in 8/45 patients (17.8%), kidney in 10/33 patients (30.3%), colorectum in 3/29 patients (10.3%), breast in 3/22 patients (13.6%), prostate in 3/10 patients (30%), thyroid in 4/8 patients (50%), and ‘other’ in 28/88 patients (31.8%). On Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, the SM-IMM group showed a significantly longer survival than the SM-DTM group (p = 0.013). The mean survival time was 23.0 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 15.5 to 30.5) in the SM-IMM group and 15.5 months (95% CI 11.8 to 19.2) in the SM-DTM group.

CONCLUSION:

Of the 338 enrolled patients who underwent surgical treatment for spinal metastasis, 94 patients (27.8%) underwent surgical treatment for SM-IMM. The SM-IMM group had an acceptable prognosis with surgical treatment. Cite this article: Bone Joint J2019;101-B:1379-1384.