Breast cancer patients with metastatic spinal cord compression. Number of extraspinal organs involved by metastases influences survival

Strahlenther Onkol. 2014 Mar;190(3):283-6. doi: 10.1007/s00066-013-0473-4. Epub 2013 Nov 23.


Background and purpose: The goal of the present work was to investigate the predictive value of the number of extraspinal organs involved by metastases for the survival of patients with metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) from breast cancer.

Patients and methods: Data of 145 breast cancer patients who received 10 fractions of 3 Gy of radiotherapy (RT) alone for MSCC were retrospectively analyzed. Seven potential prognostic factors were investigated including age, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance score, number of involved vertebrae, interval from breast cancer diagnosis to RT of MSCC, ambulatory status prior to RT, time to developing motor deficits, and the number of involved extraspinal organs.

Results: The 1-year survival rates for involvement of 0, 1, 2, and ≥ 3 extraspinal organs were 86, 73, 36, and 16 % (p < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the number of involved extraspinal organs remained significant (risk ratio 2.19; 95 % confidence interval 1.61-3.00; p < 0.001). ECOG performance score (p < 0.001), ambulatory status prior to RT (p = 0.003), and the time to developing motor deficits (p < 0.001) were also significantly associated with survival in the multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: The number of extraspinal organs involved by metastases is an independent prognostic factor of survival in patients with MSCC from breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Compression / mortality*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Compression / radiotherapy*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Survival Analysis