Prospective observational study.
We present the natural history, including survival and function, among participants in the prospective observational study of spinal metastases treatment investigation.
Summary of Background Data.
Surgical treatment has been touted as a means to preserve functional independence, quality of life, and survival. Nearly all prior investigations have been limited by retrospective design and relatively short-periods of post-treatment surveillance.
This natural history study was conducted using the records of patients who were enrolled in the prospective observational study of spinal metastases treatment study (2017–2019). Eligible participants were 18 or older and presenting for treatment of spinal metastatic disease. Patients were followed at predetermined intervals (1, 3, 6, 12, and 24-mo) following treatment. We conducted cox proportional hazard regression analysis adjusting for confounders including age, biologic sex, number of comorbidities, type of metastatic lesion, neurologic symptoms at presentation, number of metastases involving the vertebral body, vertebral body collapse, New England Spinal Metastasis Score (NESMS) at presentation, and treatment strategy.
We included 202 patients. Twenty-three percent of the population had died by 3 months following treatment initiation, 51% by 1 year, and 70% at 2 years. There was no significant difference in survival between patients treated operatively and nonoperatively (P = 0.16). No significant difference in HRQL between groups was appreciated beyond 3 months following treatment initiation. NESMS at presentation (scores of 0 [HR 5.61; 95% CI 2.83, 11.13] and 1 [HR 3.00; 95% CI 1.60, 5.63]) was significantly associated with mortality.
We found that patients treated operatively and nonoperatively for spinal metastases benefitted from treatment in terms of HRQL. Two-year mortality for the cohort as a whole was 70%. When prognosticating survival, the NESMS appears to be an effective utility, particularly among patients with scores of 0 or 1.
Level of Evidence: 2