STUDY DESIGN: A review of the past and current status of the evolving field of spine oncology. OBJECTIVE: To provide a framework of reference for developments in the field, particularly the rapidly evolving field of molecular biology, as well as contemporary practice in the management of spine tumors. METHODS: Literature review of the surgical treatment of spine tumors in the past and present, the emerging radiologic and biologic technologies, as well as the field of targeted therapy in cancer and the economic implications of technological advances. RESULTS: A vast contemporary literature is currently available that provides a clear rational basis for treatment. Most treatment recommendations are currently based on retrospective data and small Phase II prospective studies. Treatment paradigms continue to evolve without their relative merits being evaluated by randomized controlled trials. The current lack of randomized trials in spine oncology reflect both the rarity of spine tumors and strongly held biases based on retrospective studies and institutional bias. CONCLUSION: Spine oncology is a rapidly evolving field with contributions in surgery, radiation therapy, and targeted chemotherapy resulting in overall improvement in quality of life and survival in patients with spine tumors. However, the economic consequences of these improvements are substantial and need to be kept in proper perspective.
|Published - Oct 15 2009
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Clinical Neurology