To summarize the epidemiological characteristics of patients following surgery for spinal metastases retrospectively and make a univariate analysis to identify independent variables that could affect the operation decision making.
This was a multicenter retrospective review of patients with spinal metastasis who were treated with surgery from 1 January 2007 to 31 July 2019. Basic clinical data were analyzed retrospectively by univariate analysis to identify independent variables that could affect the decision of operation modalities, including gender, age, spinal metastatic site, Frankel score, Karnofsky performance score (KPS), spinal instability neoplastic score (SINS), visual analogue scale (VAS), Tokuhashi score, urinary and fecal incontinence, spinal pathological fracture, primary tumor, extraspinal metastasis, visceral metastasis, and bone lesion (osteolytic, osteoblastic or mixed).
A total of 580 patients including 332 males and 248 females were enrolled in the study with an average age of 58.26 years old (range, 13-86 years old). The most common spinal metastatic level was the thoracic vertebra (190 [32.76%]), followed by the lumbar vertebra (146 [25.17%]), cervical vertebra (47 [8.10%]), and sacral vertebra (35 [6.03%]). Metastases involving more than two sites of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral vertebrae arose in 162 (27.93%) patients. For primary tumor, there were 198 (34.14%) cases of lung cancer, 41 (7.07%) cases of kidney cancer, 39 (6.72%) cases of breast cancer, 38 (6.55%) cases of gastrointestinal cancer, 35 (6.03%) cases of lymphoma and myeloma, 25 (4.31%) cases of prostate cancer, 24 (4.14%) cases of liver cancer, 23 (3.97%) cases of mesenchymal tissue sarcoma, 20 (3.45%) cases of thyroid cancer, and 84 (14.48%) cases were tumor with unknown origin. Sixty-three (10.86%) patients received minimally invasive surgery, 460 (79.31%) patients received palliative surgery, and the remaining 57 (9.83%) received tumor resection. According to the univariate analysis, the KPS score, SINS score, VAS score, Tokuhashi score, urinary and fecal incontinence, spinal pathological fracture, and bone lesion (osteolytic, osteoblastic or mixed) were independent and favorable factors affecting the surgery modalities.
Surgical treatment for spinal metastases was mainly to relieve pain, rebuild spinal stability, improve nerve function, control local tumors, and improve the quality of life of patients. For middle-aged and elderly patients with good general conditions, severe pain, spinal pathological fracture, spine instability and without urinary and fecal incontinence, early surgical treatment should be actively carried out.