Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Spinal Metastases: Practice Guidelines, Outcomes, and Risks

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Abstract

Spine metastases can be a debilitating and difficult therapeutic challenge for a significant number of cancer patients. Surgical management of spine metastases is often limited because of the complexity, risks, and recovery delays associated with open invasive surgical procedures. Conventional palliative external beam radiation therapy is the most common treatment modality. However, it is associated with limited palliative efficacy and local tumor control, including in the postoperative setting. In the era of improving systemic disease control, spine stereotactic body radiotherapy is fast emerging as the therapeutic modality of choice for selected de novo, postoperative, and salvage reirradiation spine metastases patients. Considerable expertise, multidisciplinary collaboration, and rigid adherence to quality metrics are required for the safe application of this highly conformal ablative therapy. This review highlights the current state of the evidence, understanding of the late effects, and technological requirements for spine stereotactic body radiotherapy specific to spinal metastases.

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