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Keywords:

  • metastatic spinal cord compression;
  • best supportive care;
  • radiotherapy;
  • survival prognosis;
  • scoring system.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objective of the current study was to develop a scoring system that identifies those patients with metastatic spinal cord compression who may be candidates for best supportive care or single-fraction radiotherapy.

METHODS:

Ten potential prognostic factors were retrospectively analyzed in 2029 patients, including age, gender, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, tumor type, number of involved vertebrae, further bone metastases, visceral metastases, interval from time of cancer diagnosis to the development of MSCC, time to the development of motor deficits, and ambulatory status.

RESULTS:

On multivariate analysis, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, tumor type, bone metastases, visceral metastases, interval from cancer diagnosis to the development of metastatic spinal cord compression, time to the development of motor deficits, and ambulatory status were found to be significantly associated with survival. The risk score represented the sum of the scores for each of these factors, obtained from the probability of the patient dying within 2 months (shown as the percentage) divided by 10. Risk scores ranged between 6 and 25 points. At a cutoff value of ≥ 24 points, the specificity was 99.8% and the positive predictive value was 96.0%, which indicates that approximately 4% of the patients predicted to die within 2 months survived > 2 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

This score identifies patients who have a very poor survival with a high specificity and a high positive predictive value. Patients with a score of ≥ 24 points have a very high probability of dying within 2 months. Thus, overtreatment with intensive therapies can be avoided in these patients, who are very unlikely to benefit.Cancer 2013. © 2012 American Cancer Society.