Evaluation of the Metastatic Spine Disease Multidisciplinary Working Group Algorithms as Part of a Multidisciplinary Spine Tumor Conference

Soumon Rudra, Mary K. Lauman, Hayley Stowe, Lauren E. Henke, Adam N. Wallace, Michael C. Roach, Jiayi Huang, Christina I. Tsien, Jeffrey D. Bradley, Paul Santiago, Jacob M. Buchowski, Jack W. Jennings, Clifford G. Robinson

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1 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Objective: The Metastatic Spine Disease Multidisciplinary Working Group Algorithms are evidence and expert opinion–based strategies for utilizing radiation therapy, interventional radiology procedures, and surgery to treat 5 types of spine metastases: asymptomatic spinal metastases, uncomplicated spinal metastases, stable vertebral compression fractures (VCF), unstable VCF, and metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC). Evaluation of this set of algorithms in a clinical setting is lacking. The authors aimed to identify rate of treatment adherence to the Working Group Algorithms and, subsequently, update these algorithms based on actual patient management decisions made at a single-institution, multidisciplinary, spine tumor conference. Methods: Patients with metastatic spine disease from primary non-hematologic malignancies discussed at an institutional spine tumor conference from 2013 to 2016 were evaluated. Rates of Working Group Algorithms adherence were calculated for each type of metastasis. Based on the reasons for algorithm nonadherence, and patient outcomes in such cases, updated Working Group Algorithms recommendations were proposed. Results: In total, 154 eligible patients with 171 spine metastases were evaluated. Rates of algorithm adherence were as follows: asymptomatic (67%), uncomplicated (73%), stable VCF (20%), unstable VCF (32%), and MESCC (41%). The most common deviation from the Working Group Algorithms was surgery for MESCC despite poor prognostic factors, but this treatment strategy was supported based on median survival surpassing 6 months in these patients. Conclusions: Adherence to the Working Group Algorithm was lowest for MESCC and VCF patients, but many nonadherent treatments were supported by patient survival outcomes. We proposed updates to the Working Group Algorithm based on these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-895
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • interventional radiology
  • radiation therapy
  • spinal cord compression
  • spinal metastases
  • spine surgery
  • vertebral compression fractures


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