Surgical Intervention for Vertebral Metastases May Benefit Lung Cancer Patients No Less Than Other Patients

A Retrospective Study

Takashi Kobayashi; Naohisa Miyakoshi; Toshiki Abe; Eiji Abe; Kazuma Kikuchi; Yoichi Shimada; Seiko Matsumoto; Shin Fukui


J Med Case Reports. 2017;11(4) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Spinal metastasis is considered to have a worse prognosis in lung cancer than in other cancers, but recent clinical studies report improved overall survival of lung cancer. We compared the postoperative prognoses of vertebral metastatic tumors from lung with other types of cancer.

Methods: From 2011 to 2015, 31 Japanese patients (mean age 73 years, range 55–88 years; 19 males, 12 females) underwent surgery for spinal metastasis at our center. We observed patients retrospectively in March 2016, dividing them into groups by cancer type: lung (LK group, n = 10); prostate, breast, or thyroid (PB group, n = 12); and other (OT group, n = 9). We compared survival and revised Tokuhashi score, which provides a basis for choosing a treatment course. Neurologic status was graded before and after surgery using the Frankel system.

Results: Mean follow-up was 16.5 months (range 1–62 months). Only seven of 31 patients (22.6%) were alive at final follow-up. Frankel grade significantly improved postoperatively only in the LK (P = 0.01) and PB (P = 0.048) groups. Revised Tokuhashi score differed across groups (P < 0.0001), and was significantly lower in the LK group than in the PB group (P = 0.00) and OT group (P = 0.02). Postoperative survival was significantly shorter in the LK group than in the PB group (P = 0.01) but did not differ between the LK and OT groups.

Conclusions: The revised Tokuhashi score may underestimate the survival of lung cancer patients, who may derive the same benefit from surgical intervention as those with vertebral metastasis from other cancer types.