Stability of spinal bone metastases and survival analysis in renal cancer after radiotherapy



This retrospective analysis evaluated the outcome of patients with spinal bone metastases of renal cell cancer after radiotherapy (RT) in terms of stability and survival, using a validated scoring system for spinal stability assessment.

Materials and methods

The survival rates of 155 patients with bone metastases of renal cancer treated from January 2000 to January 2012 were determined. The stability of irradiated osteolytic lesions of the thoracic and lumbar spine was evaluated retrospectively using the Taneichi score and analyzed for predictive factors. The effects of therapy in terms of changes in neurological signs and tumor-related pain were recorded.


Follow-up with regular computed tomography (CT) was available for 28 patients, 14 with unstable metastases. One hundred thiry-two patients (85%) died during follow-up. RT could not improve the stability of vertebral bodies after 3 and 6 months. Consequently, none of the examined predictive factors such as age, number of bone metastases and systemic therapy showed a significant correlation with stability 6 months after RT. The median survival of all 155 patients after diagnosis of bone metastases was 12.9 months. Improvement of pain and neurological deficits occurred in 60%, and in 24% of the respective affected in all patients.


RT was unable to improve the stability of vertebral metastases, probably due to the short overall survival, which resulted in an insufficient number of patients with evaluable follow-up. RT allowed reduction of pain and neurological deficits. A short fractionation schedule may be preferred in this situation.

Tumori 2015; 101(6): 614 - 620




Ingmar Schlampp, Helge Lang, Robert Förster, Robert Wolf, Tilman Bostel, Thomas Bruckner, Jürgen Debus, Harald Rief

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interests: The authors declare they have no competing interests.

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  • Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg - Germany
  • Department of Medical Biometry, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg - Germany

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