Patients with metastatic thyroid cancer have prolonged survival compared to those with other primary tumors. The spine is the most common site of osseous involvement in cases of metastatic thyroid cancer. As a result, obtaining durable local control (LC) in the spine is crucial. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SSRS) in patients with metastatic thyroid cancer.
Information on patients with metastatic thyroid cancer treated with SSRS for spinal metastases was retrospectively evaluated. SSRS was delivered with a simultaneous integrated boost technique using single- or multiple-fraction treatments. LC, defined as stable or reduced disease volume, was evaluated by examining posttreatment MRI, CT, and PET studies.
A total of 133 lesions were treated in 67 patients. The median follow-up duration was 31 months. Dose regimens for SSRS included 18 Gy in 1 fraction, 27 Gy in 3 fractions, and 30 Gy in 5 fractions. The histology distribution was 36% follicular, 33% papillary, 15% medullary, 13% Hurthle cell, and 3% anaplastic. The 1-, 2-, and 5-year LC rates were 96%, 89%, and 82%, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) was 43 months, with 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates of 86%, 74%, and 44%, respectively. There was no correlation between the absolute biological equivalent dose (BED) and OS or LC. Patients with effective LC had a trend toward improved OS when compared to patients who had local failure: 68 versus 28 months (p = 0.07). In terms of toxicity, 5 vertebral compression fractures (2.8%) occurred, and only 1 case (0.6%) of greater than or equal to grade 3 toxicity (esophageal stenosis) was reported.
SSRS is a safe and effective treatment option with excellent LC and minimal toxicity for patients with metastatic thyroid cancer. No association with increased radiation dose or BED was found, suggesting that such patients can be effectively treated with reduced dose regimens.