Background and purpose: For palliative care of spinal bone metastases, stability assessment is of crucial importance. Pathological fractures, instability-related patient immobility and the extent of bone metastasis have been reported to affect patient outcome and these parameters have therefore been used for treatment stratification. We report on stability-dependent fracture and survival rates in over 300 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
Materials and methods: Data from 303 patients with 868 osteolytic metastases treated with radiotherapy (RT) between 2000 and 2012 were evaluated retrospectively.
Results: In NSCLC patients with bone metastases only, the retrospective 6- and 12-month overall survival (OS) rates were 76.7 and 47.2%, respectively. In patients with additional non-bone distant metastases, these values were 60.0 and 34.0%, respectively. Survival rates were significantly lower in patients with multiple bone metastases and in those suffering pathological fractures (p=0.017). No significant impact of histological type, location of spinal lesions or treatment regime was detected. Furthermore, stability assessment revealed no influence of vertebral column stability on patient outcome (p=0.739).
Conclusion: Our analysis demonstrated a correlation between the pathological fractures of bone lesions, the number of bone metastases, additional distant metastases and survival. The results offer a rationale for future prospective investigations.