Systemic considerations for the surgical treatment of spinal metastatic disease: a scoping literature review

Lancet Oncol. 2022 Jul;23(7):e321-e333. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(22)00126-7.


Systemic assessment is a pillar in the neurological, oncological, mechanical, and systemic (NOMS) decision-making framework for the treatment of patients with spinal metastatic disease. Despite this importance, emerging evidence relating systemic considerations to clinical outcomes following surgery for spinal metastatic disease has not been comprehensively summarised. We aimed to conduct a scoping literature review of this broad topic. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases from Jan 1, 2000, to July 31, 2021. 61 articles were included, accounting for a total of 22 335 patients. Preoperative systemic variables negatively associated with postoperative clinical outcomes included demographics (eg, older age [>60 years], Black race, male sex, low or elevated body-mass index, and smoking status), medical comorbidities (eg, cardiac, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, endocrine, vascular, and rheumatological), biochemical abnormalities (eg, hypoalbuminaemia, atypical blood cell counts, and elevated C-reactive protein concentration), low muscle mass, generalised motor weakness (American Spinal Cord Injury Association Impairment Scale grade and Frankel grade) and poor ambulation, reduced performance status, and systemic disease burden. This is the first comprehensive scoping review to broadly summarise emerging evidence relevant to the systemic assessment component of the widely used NOMS framework for spinal metastatic disease decision making. Medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists can consider these findings when prognosticating spinal metastatic disease-related surgical outcomes on the basis of patients' systemic condition. These factors might inform a shared decision-making approach with patients and their families.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms* / therapy