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Kristin J. Redmond, Simon S. Lo, Scott G. Soltys, Yoshiya Yamada, Igor J. Barani, Paul D. Brown, Eric L. Chang, Peter C. Gerszten, Samuel T. Chao, Robert J. Amdur, Antonio A. F. De Salles, Matthias Guckenberger, Bin S. Teh, Jason Sheehan, Charles R. Kersh, Michael G. Fehlings, Moon-Jun Sohn, Ung-Kyu Chang, Samuel Ryu, Iris C. Gibbs, and Arjun Sahgal

OBJECTIVE

Although postoperative stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spinal metastases is increasingly performed, few guidelines exist for this application. The purpose of this study is to develop consensus guidelines to promote safe and effective treatment for patients with spinal metastases.

METHODS

Fifteen radiation oncologists and 5 neurosurgeons, representing 19 centers in 4 countries and having a collective experience of more than 1300 postoperative spine SBRT cases, completed a 19-question survey about postoperative spine SBRT practice. Responses were defined as follows: 1) consensus: selected by ≥ 75% of respondents; 2) predominant: selected by 50% of respondents or more; and 3) controversial: no single response selected by a majority of respondents.

RESULTS

Consensus treatment indications included: radioresistant primary, 1–2 levels of adjacent disease, and previous radiation therapy. Contraindications included: involvement of more than 3 contiguous vertebral bodies, ASIA Grade A status (complete spinal cord injury without preservation of motor or sensory function), and postoperative Bilsky Grade 3 residual (cord compression without any CSF around the cord). For treatment planning, co-registration of the preoperative MRI and postoperative T1-weighted MRI (with or without gadolinium) and delineation of the cord on the T2-weighted MRI (and/or CT myelogram in cases of significant hardware artifact) were predominant. Consensus GTV (gross tumor volume) was the postoperative residual tumor based on MRI. Predominant CTV (clinical tumor volume) practice was to include the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor, the relevant anatomical compartment and any residual disease. Consensus was achieved with respect to not including the surgical hardware and incision in the CTV. PTV (planning tumor volume) expansion was controversial, ranging from 0 to 2 mm. The spinal cord avoidance structure was predominantly the true cord. Circumferential treatment of the epidural space and margin for paraspinal extension was controversial. Prescription doses and spinal cord tolerances based on clinical scenario, neurological compromise, and prior overlapping treatments were controversial, but reasonable ranges are presented. Fifty percent of those surveyed practiced an integrated boost to areas of residual tumor and density override for hardware within the beam path. Acceptable PTV coverage was controversial, but consensus was achieved with respect to compromising coverage to meet cord constraint and fractionation to improve coverage while meeting cord constraint.

CONCLUSIONS

The consensus by spinal radiosurgery experts suggests that postoperative SBRT is indicated for radioresistant primary lesions, disease confined to 1–2 vertebral levels, and/or prior overlapping radiotherapy. The GTV is the postoperative residual tumor, and the CTV is the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor and anatomical compartment plus residual disease. Hardware and scar do not need to be included in CTV. While predominant agreement was reached about treatment planning and definition of organs at risk, future investigation will be critical in better understanding areas of controversy, including whether circumferential treatment of the epidural space is necessary, management of paraspinal extension, and the optimal dose fractionation schedules.

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Ahmed Hashmi, Matthias Guckenberger, Ron Kersh, Peter C. Gerszten, Frederick Mantel, Inga S. Grills, John C. Flickinger, John H. Shin, Daniel K. Fahim, Brian Winey, Kevin Oh, B. C. John Cho, Daniel Létourneau, Jason Sheehan, and Arjun Sahgal

OBJECTIVE

This study is a multi-institutional pooled analysis specific to imaging-based local control of spinal metastases in patients previously treated with conventional external beam radiation therapy (cEBRT) and then treated with re-irradiation stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to the spine as salvage therapy, the largest such study to date.

METHODS

The authors reviewed cases involving 215 patients with 247 spinal target volumes treated at 7 institutions. Overall survival was calculated on a patient basis, while local control was calculated based on the spinal target volume treated, both using the Kaplan-Meier method. Local control was defined as imaging-based progression within the SBRT target volume. Equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions (EQD2) was calculated for the cEBRT and SBRT course using an α/β of 10 for tumor and 2 for both spinal cord and cauda equina.

RESULTS

The median total dose/number of fractions of the initial cEBRT was 30 Gy/10. The median SBRT total dose and number of fractions were 18 Gy and 1, respectively. Sixty percent of spinal target volumes were treated with single-fraction SBRT (median, 16.6 Gy and EQD2/10 = 36.8 Gy), and 40% with multiple-fraction SBRT (median 24 Gy in 3 fractions, EQD2/10 = 36 Gy). The median time interval from cEBRT to re-irradiation SBRT was 13.5 months, and the median duration of patient follow-up was 8.1 months. Kaplan-Meier estimates of 6- and 12-month overall survival rates were 64% and 48%, respectively; 13% of patients suffered a local failure, and the 6- and 12-month local control rates were 93% and 83%, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) < 70 as a significant prognostic factor for worse overall survival, and single-fraction SBRT as a significant predictive factor for better local control. There were no cases of radiation myelopathy, and the vertebral compression fracture rate was 4.5%.

CONCLUSIONS

Re-irradiation spine SBRT is effective in yielding imaging-based local control with a clinically acceptable safety profile. A randomized trial would be required to determine the optimal fractionation.

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Maha Saada Jawad, Daniel K. Fahim, Peter C. Gerszten, John C. Flickinger, Arjun Sahgal, Inga S. Grills, Jason Sheehan, Ronald Kersh, John Shin, Kevin Oh, Frederick Mantel, and Matthias Guckenberger

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to identify factors contributing to an increased risk for vertebral compression fracture (VCF) following stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spinal tumors.

METHODS

A total of 594 tumors were treated with spinal SBRT as primary treatment or re-irradiation at 8 different institutions as part of a multi-institutional research consortium. Patients underwent LINAC-based, image-guided SBRT to a median dose of 20 Gy (range 8–40 Gy) in a median of 1 fraction (range 1–5 fractions). Median patient age was 62 years. Seventy-one percent of tumors were osteolytic, and a preexisting vertebral compression fracture (VCF) was present in 24% of cases. Toxicity was assessed following treatment. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a logistic regression method to determine parameters predictive for post-SBRT VCF.

RESULTS

At a median follow-up of 10.1 months (range 0.03–57 months), 80% of patients had local tumor control. At the time of last imaging follow-up, at a median of 8.8 months after SBRT, 3% had a new VCF, and 2.7% had a progressive VCF. For development of any (new or progressive) VCF following SBRT, the following factors were predictive for VCF on univariate analysis: short interval from primary diagnosis to SBRT (less than 36.8 days), solitary metastasis, no additional bone metastases, no prior chemotherapy, preexisting VCF, no MRI used for target delineation, tumor volume of 37.3 cm3 or larger, equivalent 2-Gy-dose (EQD2) tumor of 41.8 Gy or more, and EQD2 spinal cord Dmax of 46.1 Gy or more. Preexisting VCF, solitary metastasis, and prescription dose of 38.4 Gy or more were predictive on multivariate analysis. The following factors were predictive of a new VCF on univariate analysis: solitary metastasis, no additional bone metastases, and no MRI used for target delineation. Presence of a solitary metastasis and lack of MRI for target delineation remained significant on multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

A VCF following SBRT is more likely to occur following treatment for a solitary spinal metastasis, reflecting a more aggressive treatment approach in patients with adequately controlled systemic disease. Higher prescription dose and a preexisting VCF also put patients at increased risk for post-SBRT VCF. In these patients, pre-SBRT cement augmentation could be considered to decrease the risk of subsequent VCF.