Radiation treatment of malignant diseases of the spine poses unique challenges to the radiation oncology treatment team. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) offers the capability of delivering high doses to targets near the spine while respecting spinal cord tolerance. At the University of California, Irvine, 8 patients received a total of 10 courses to the spine for a variety of primary and metastatic malignant conditions. This paper discusses anatomical considerations, spinal cord radiation myelopathy, and treatment planning issues as it relates to the treatment of spinal cord lesions. Between October 1997 and August 2001, a total of 8 patients received 10 courses of IMRT for primary or metastatic disease of the spine. Cancers treated included metastatic lung, renal, adrenocortical cancers, and primary sarcomas and giant cell tumor. Five cases had 6 courses given for re-irradiation of symptomatic disease and 3 cases had 4 courses of IMRT as primary management of their spinal lesions. Although 3 courses were given postoperatively, these were for grossly residual disease. For the re-irradiation patients, the mean follow-up interval was 4 months. The local control was estimated at 14%. Of the patients treated with primary intent, the mean follow-up was 9 months and the local control rate 75%. No patients developed spinal cord complications.
View details for PubMedID 12074465