Spinal radiosurgery: A neurosurgical perspective
Mark H. Bilsky, Lilyana Angelov, Jack Rock, Jason Weaver, Jason Sheehan, Laurence Rhines, Syed Azeem, and Peter Gerszten
Spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SSRS) is proving to be one of the most significant advances in the treatment of both metastatic and primary spine tumors. High-dose hypofractionated and single fraction radiation appear to convey better local tumor control than conventional radiation for tumors considered radioresistant, such as renal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Multiple series have demonstrated control rates greater than 85% which appears to be histology independent. The markedly improved local control rates compared to conventional radiation techniques are beginning to change the treatment paradigms for spine tumors. Recent evidence in the literature reflects the integration of SSRS in the treatment of metastatic and primary malignant and benign spine tumors as the principle treatment or as a neoadjuvant or postoperative adjuvant therapy. For instance, as confidence grows with the use of SSRS as a postoperative adjuvant, surgical resection of metastatic disease has become less aggressive with the expectation that radiation can control residual disease. Despite high dose radiation delivery within millimeters of the spinal cord, toxicity has been limited with rare cases of radiation-induced myelopathy. The establishment of spinal cord and other critical structure tolerances is essential to the continued evolution of SSRS, as radiation oncologists begin to use this modality to treat spinal cord compression. This paper reviews the neurosurgical integration of SRS into spine practice.
Keywords: Spine stereotactic radiosurgery, spinal cord tolerance, spine tumor, spine radiation, metastatic spine tumor, primary spine tumor