Radiotherapy for spinal cord compression in patients with soft-tissue sarcoma

Ofer Merimsky*, Yehuda Kollender, Felix Bokstein, Josephine Issakov, Gideon Flusser, Moshe J. Inbar, Isaac Meller, Jacob Bickels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Spinal metastases of soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) occur rarely and pose a therapeutic problem. Although wide resection is warranted for best local control, it is rarely feasible. A radiotherapy (RT) dose of 70 Gy is usually needed to treat limb STS, but only 45 Gy can be given to the spine. In the present series, we report our experience using RT to treat spinal cord compression (SpCC) associated with STS. Methods and materials The medical files of 19 adult patients with STS and SpCC were reviewed. RT was considered in all the cases, together with steroids and analgesics. The prescribed dose was 30 Gy in 10 fractions within 12 days. The effect of treatment was evaluated on a clinical basis. Results Twenty-three events of SpCC were found. The prevailing symptom was pain. The Karnofsky performance status was 40-70% at presentation. RT was given in all but 1 patient and surgical decompression in 3. Small, but important, improvements in signs and Karnofsky performance status were noted in 14 of 23 cases of SpCC, expressed mainly by pain alleviation and restoration of independence. The median survival after the diagnosis of SpCC was 5 months. Conclusion Radiotherapy is an important tool in palliating SpCC in patients with STS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1468-1473
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2004


  • Multidisciplinary approach
  • Soft-tissue sarcoma
  • Spinal cord compression


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