Reirradiation spine stereotactic body radiation therapy for spinal metastases: Systematic review: International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society practice guidelines

Sten Myrehaug, Arjun Sahgal, Motohiro Hayashi, Marc Levivier, Lijun Ma, Roberto Martinez, Ian Paddick, Jean Régis, Samuel Ryu, Ben Slotman, Antonio De Salles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE Spinal metastases that recur after conventional palliative radiotherapy have historically been diffcult to manage due to concerns of spinal cord toxicity in the retreatment setting. Spine stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), also known as stereotactic radiosurgery, is emerging as an effective and safe means of delivering ablative doses to these recurrent tumors. The authors performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the clinical effcacy and safety of spine SBRT specifc to previously irradiated spinal metastases. METHODS A systematic literature review was conducted, which was specifc to SBRT to the spine, using MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Evidence-Based Medicine Database, National Guideline Clearinghouse, and CMA Infobase, with further bibliographic review of appropriate articles. Research questions included: 1) Is retreatment spine SBRT effcacious with respect to local control and symptom control? 2) Is retreatment spine SBRT safe? RESULTS The initial literature search retrieved 2263 articles. Of these articles, 160 were potentially relevant, 105 were selected for in-depth review, and 9 studies met all inclusion criteria for analysis. All studies were single-institution series, including 4 retrospective, 3 retrospective series of prospective databases, 1 prospective, and 1 Phase I/II prospective study (low-or very low-quality data). The results indicated that spine SBRT is effective, with a median 1-year local control rate of 76% (range 66%-90%). Improvement in patients' pain scores post-SBRT ranged from 65% to 81%. Treatment delivery was safe, with crude rates of vertebral body fracture of 12% (range 0%-22%) and radiation-induced myelopathy of 1.2%. CONCLUSIONS This systematic literature review suggests that SBRT to previously irradiated spinal metastases is safe and effective with respect to both local control and pain relief. Although the evidence is limited to low-quality data, SBRT can be a recommended treatment option for reirradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Metastases
  • Oncology
  • Retreatment
  • Spine
  • Stereotactic radiation
  • Vertebral body

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