Patients with metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) can choose to have surgical intervention as an adjunct to radiation and chemotherapy, as it improves health-related quality of life, according to a study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

In this study, researchers sought to evaluate survival, neurologic, functional, and health-related quality of life outcomes in patients with MESCC who underwent surgery management.

A total of 140 patients with a single symptomatic MESCC lesion were enrolled in the study. Investigators collected clinical data preoperatively and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postoperatively.

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Examples of data collected include results from the Brief Pain Inventory, the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment scale, SF-36 Short Form Health Survey, Oswestry Disability Index, and EurQol 5 dimensions.

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Results showed that 30-day and 12-month mortality rates were 9% and 62%, respectively. Ambulatory status and lower extremity and total motor scores were improved at 6 months postoperatively. The Oswestry Disability Index improved at 6 weeks, and at 3, 6, and 12 months.

In regard to safety, wound complications occurred in 10% of patients and 2 required a second surgery.


  1. Fehlings MG, Nater A, Tetreault L, et al. Survival and clinical outcome in surgically treated patients with metastatic epidural spinal cord compression: results of the prospective multicenter AOSpine study [published online ahead of print November 23, 2015]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.61.9338.