Diagnosis, treatment, and survival in spinal dissemination of primary intracranial glioblastoma: systematic literature review

Christina Huang WrightDepartment of Neurological Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center;
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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James WrightDepartment of Neurological Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center;
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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Louisa OnyewadumeCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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Alankrita RaghavanCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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Isaac LapiteCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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Antonio Casco-ZuletaCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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Carlito LagmanDepartment of Neurological Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center;
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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Martha SajatovicNeurological and Behavioral Outcomes Research Center and
Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio

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Tiffany R. HodgesDepartment of Neurological Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center;
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and

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OBJECTIVE

Spinal metastases from primary intracranial glioblastoma (GBM) are infrequently reported, and the disease has yet to be well characterized. A more accurate description of its clinical presentation and patient survival may improve understanding of this pathology, guide patient care, and advocate for increased inclusion in GBM research. The authors sought to describe the clinical presentation, treatment patterns, and survival in patients with drop metastases secondary to primary intracranial GBM.

METHODS

A systematic review was performed using the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases were queried for abstracts that included patients with primary intracranial GBM and metastases to the spinal axis. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate characteristics of the primary brain lesion, timing of spinal metastases, clinical symptoms, anatomical location of the metastases, and survival and treatment parameters. Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank analysis of the survival curves were performed for selected subgroups.

RESULTS

Of 1225 abstracts that resulted from the search, 51 articles were selected, yielding 86 subjects. The patients’ mean age was 46.78 years and 59.74% were male. The most common symptom was lumbago or cervicalgia (90.24%), and this was followed by paraparesis (86.00%). The actuarial median survival after the detection of spinal metastases was 2.8 months and the mean survival was 2.72 months (95% CI 2.59–4.85), with a 1-year cumulative survival probability of 2.7% (95% CI 0.51%–8.33%). A diagnosis of leptomeningeal disease, present in 53.54% of the patients, was correlated, and significantly worse survival was on log-rank analysis in patients with leptomeningeal disease (p = 0.0046; median survival 2.5 months [95% CI 2–3] vs 4.0 months [95% CI 2–6]).

CONCLUSIONS

This study established baseline characteristics of GBMs metastatic to the spinal axis. The prognosis is poor, though these results will provide patients and clinicians with more accurate survival estimates. The quality of studies reporting on this disease pathology is still limited. There is significant need for improved reporting methods for spinal metastases, either through enrollment of these patients in clinical trials or through increased granularity of coding for metastatic central nervous system diseases in cancer databases.

ABBREVIATIONS

GBM = glioblastoma.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Tables 1 and 2 (PDF 489 KB)
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Illustration from Dauleac et al. (pp 756–763). Copyright Corentin Dauleac. Published with permission.

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