Outcomes After Irradiation of Epidural Spinal Cord Compression Due to Metastatic Thyroid Cancer

Dirk Rades, Stefan Janssen, Lukas Käsmann, Louisa Bolm, Steven E. Schild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


AIM: Epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC) from thyroid cancer is uncommon. This study aimed to contribute to the identification of the most appropriate treatment for these patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fourteen patients receiving irradiation alone were retrospectively evaluated.

RESULTS: Improvement of motor deficits occurred in 36% of patients, further progression was prevented in another 43% (overall response=79%). One of six non-ambulatory patients (17%) became ambulatory. The 12-month rate of freedom from in-field recurrence was 85%; long-course irradiation was superior to short-course irradiation (100% vs. 67%, p=0.11). The 12-month survival rate was 41%. Age <70 years (p=0.007), no other metastases (p=0.007), differentiated cancer (p<0.001), ability to walk (p=0.015), affection of 1-3 vertebrae (p<0.001) and better performance score (p=0.007) were associated with survival.

CONCLUSION: Irradiation resulted in a good response. Neurosurgery appears required for non-ambulatory patients to restore walking ability. Long-course irradiation resulted in excellent long-term freedom from in-field recurrence and appears preferable for patients with favorable survival prognoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2035-2039
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • epidural spinal cord compression
  • freedom from recurrence
  • functional outcomes
  • irradiation
  • survival
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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