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Dhiego Chaves de Almeida Bastos, Richard George Everson, Bruno Fernandes de Oliveira Santos, Ahmed Habib, Rafael A. Vega, Marilou Oro, Ganesh Rao, Jing Li, Amol J. Ghia, Andrew J. Bishop, Debra Nana Yeboa, Behrang Amini, Laurence D. Rhines, and Claudio Esteves Tatsui

OBJECTIVE

The proximity of the spinal cord to compressive metastatic lesions limits radiosurgical dosing. Open surgery is used to create safe margins around the spinal cord prior to spinal stereotactic radiosurgery (SSRS) but carries the risk of potential surgical morbidity and interruption of systemic oncological treatment. Spinal laser interstitial thermotherapy (SLITT) in conjunction with SSRS provides local control with less morbidity and a shorter interval to resume systemic treatment. The authors present a comparison between SLITT and open surgery in patients with metastatic thoracic epidural spinal cord compression to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

METHODS

This is a matched-group design study comprising patients from a single institution with metastatic thoracic epidural spinal cord compression that was treated either with SLITT or open surgery. The two cohorts defined by the surgical treatment comprised patients with epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC) scores of 1c or higher and were deemed suitable for either treatment. Demographics, pre- and postoperative ESCC scores, histology, morbidity, hospital length of stay (LOS), complications, time to radiotherapy, time to resume systemic therapy, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were compared between groups.

RESULTS

Eighty patients were included in this analysis, 40 in each group. Patients were treated between January 2010 and December 2016. There was no significant difference in demographics or clinical characteristics between the cohorts. The SLITT cohort had a smaller postoperative decrease in the extent of ESCC but a lower estimated blood loss (117 vs 1331 ml, p < 0.001), shorter LOS (3.4 vs 9 days, p < 0.001), lower overall complication rate (5% vs 35%, p = 0.003), fewer days until radiotherapy or SSRS (7.8 vs 35.9, p < 0.001), and systemic treatment (24.7 vs 59 days, p = 0.015). PFS and OS were similar between groups (p = 0.510 and p = 0.868, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ results have shown that SLITT plus XRT is not inferior to open decompression surgery plus XRT in regard to local control, with a lower rate of complications and faster resumption of oncological treatment. A prospective randomized controlled study is needed to compare SLITT with open decompressive surgery for ESCC.

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David Boyce-Fappiano, Olsi Gjyshi, Todd A. Pezzi, Pamela K. Allen, Moaaz Solimman, Nicolette Taku, Michael B. Bernstein, Maria E. Cabanillas, Behrang Amini, Claudio E. Tatsui, Laurence D. Rhines, Xin A. Wang, Tina M. Briere, Debra Nana Yeboa, Andrew J. Bishop, Jing Li, and Amol J. Ghia

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.