Object. Spinal radiosurgery was implemented to improve quality of life (QOL) in patients with malignancies. It may also be applicable to the treatment of benign lesions.
Methods. Between July 2002 and January 2004, 14 patients harboring 22 lesions were treated; 13 received single-dose stereotactic radiosurgery. Six were women. The mean age was 60.2 years (range 48–82 years). There were 11 metastases, two neurofibromas, and one meningioma. Six lesions were cervical, 10 thoracic, and six lumbar. Ten patients suffered pain, three paresthesias, two weakness, and three were asymptomatic. Seven patients underwent spinal surgery, with four receiving instrumentation. Twelve patients underwent conventional irradiation before stereotactic radiosurgery/stereotactic radiotherapy. A mean dose of 12 ± 2.7 Gy (range 8–21 Gy) was prescribed to the 91% isodose line (range 85–97%). The mean tumor volume was 25 ± 27.1 ml (range 0.75–91.8 ml). Treatment was planned using intensity-modulated radiosurgery (IMRS) fields in 15 cases, dynamic arcs in five, and conformal beams in two. The mean follow-up period was 6.1 ± 3.9 months (range 1–16 months).
Three patients became pain free and four experienced considerable relief. Weakness improved in the two patients with this preoperative symptom and the asymptomatic patients remained so. Four lesions decreased in size, five remained stable, seven progressed, and six were not followed up (two patients died before follow up). Four patients in all died, three of systemic disease and one of thoracic lesion progression. No complications due to shaped beam and IMRS/intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) techniques were observed.
Conclusions. Shaped beam and IMRS/IMRT involving the Novalis system may delay neurological deterioration, improving QOL. The lack of complication suggests that higher doses can be delivered to improve the control rate in patients with metastases.