Background: Determination of the appropriateness of invasive management in patients with spinal metastatic disease requires accurate pre-operative estimation of survival. The purpose of this study was to examine serum alkaline phosphatase as a prognostic marker in spinal metastatic disease.
Methods: Chart reviews from two tertiary care centres were used to identify spinal metastatic disease patients. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine if serum alkaline phosphatase was an independent prognostic marker for survival.
Results: Overall, 732 patients were included with 90-day and 1-year survival of n = 539 (74.9%) and n = 324 (45.7%), respectively. The 1-year survival of patients in the first quartile of alkaline phosphatase (≤73 IU/L) was 78 (57.8%) compared to 31 (24.0%) for patients in the fourth quartile (>140 IU/L). Preoperative serum alkaline phosphatase levels were significantly elevated in patients with multiple spine metastases, non-spine bone metastasis, and visceral metastasis but not in patients with brain metastasis. On multivariate analysis, elevated serum alkaline phosphatase was identified as an independent prognostic factor for survival in spinal metastatic disease.
Conclusion: Serum alkaline phosphatase is associated with preoperative metastatic tumour burden and is a biomarker for overall survival in spinal metastatic disease.