Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2013-09-20
Vertebral compression fracture after spine stereotactic body radiotherapy: a multi-institutional analysis with a focus on radiation dose and the spinal instability neoplastic score.   
Vertebral compression fracture (VCF) is increasingly recognized as an adverse event after spine stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). We report a multi-institutional study aimed at clarifying the risk and predictive factors associated with VCF.
A total of 252 patients with 410 spinal segments treated with SBRT were included. The primary outcome was the development of VCF (a new VCF or progression of a baseline VCF). In addition to various patient-, treatment-, and tumor-specific factors, the Spinal Instability Neoplastic Scoring (SINS) system was applied to determine predictive value.
The median follow-up was 11.5 months (range, 0.03 to 113 months). The median and mean overall survival rates were 16 and 26 months, respectively. We observed 57 fractures (57 of 410, 14%), with 47% (27 of 57) new fractures and 53% (30 of 57) fracture progression. The median time to VCF was 2.46 months (range, 0.03 to 43.01 months), and 65% occurred within the first 4 months. The 1- and 2-year cumulative incidences of fracture were 12.35% and 13.49%, respectively. Multivariable analysis identified dose per fraction (greatest risk for ≥ 24 Gy v 20 to 23 Gy v ≤ 19 Gy), in addition to three of the six original SINS criteria: baseline VCF, lytic tumor, and spinal deformity, as significant predictors of VCF.
Caution must be observed when treating with ≥ 20 Gy/fraction, in particular, for patients with lytic tumor, spinal misalignment, and a baseline VCF. Frequent short-term follow-up is required, as nearly two thirds of all VCF occurred within the first 4 months. We also conclude that SINS may have utility in predicting patients at high risk of SBRT-induced VCF.

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