Treatment of metastatic spinal epidural disease: Surgery versus radiotherapy

Chester K. Yarbrough, Wilson Z. Ray, Meic H. Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Metastatic spinal disease occurs frequently, affecting as many as 40% of cancer patients over time. Approximately 10% of these patients experience malignant epidural spinal cord compression. Metastasis to the spine causes significant morbidity and often leads an inexorable decline into paraplegia and loss of bowel and bladder function. Advances in surgical techniques have allowed a more aggressive approach to treatments for cytoreduction and spinal stabilization. Fractionated radiotherapy has proved effective in treatment of these patients, but inability to design and implement highly conformal plans initially limited the use of radiation delivery until the development of stereotactic and highly conformal radiation delivery techniques. The current data supporting surgery and radiation for treatment of metastatic spinal disease will be reviewed in this chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTumors of the Central Nervous System
Subtitle of host publicationPineal, Pituitary, and Spinal Tumors
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789400756816
ISBN (Print)9789400756809
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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    Yarbrough, C. K., Ray, W. Z., & Schmidt, M. H. (2013). Treatment of metastatic spinal epidural disease: Surgery versus radiotherapy. In Tumors of the Central Nervous System: Pineal, Pituitary, and Spinal Tumors (Vol. 10, pp. 295-302). Springer Netherlands.