Management of metastatic spine disease with spinal cord compression

Daniel M. Sciubba, Timothy F. Witham, Ziya L. Gokaslan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As systemic treatments for cancer have consistently improved patient survival, metastatic disease has become more clinically apparent, especially to the spine. As a result, management paradigms for metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) are particularly relevant. Treatments targeted at MESCC are still palliative at best, because the systemic cancer burden usually determines the survival of the patient. However, advances in imaging modalities combined with newly pioneered surgical and radiation therapy techniques are resulting in better outcomes. In this review, the clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up, and management options for the treatment of MESCC are presented. In addition, we propose a treatment paradigm based on early surgical decompression of the spinal cord with concomitant spinal stabilization and subsequent radiation therapy. Promising treatment options including spinal stereotactic radiosurgery and vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty will also be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalNeurosurgery Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Cancer
  • Metastases
  • Radiation therapy
  • Spine
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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