INTRODUCTION: Spinal metastases of lung cancer occur frequently and lead to the risk of spinal cord compression. Our objective is to clarify the management of this disease, emphasizing, in particular the use of prognostic scores.
BACKGROUND: The first step is to evaluate the characteristics of the spinal lesion and its impact on the autonomy and quality of life of the patient. A clinical examination is complemented by imaging procedures, such as X-rays, MRI of the spine, and PET scanning. The precise characterization of the spinal lesion permits the calculation of a predictive score for mechanical stability. The characteristics of the disease (number of metastatic sites, therapeutic possibilities, co-morbidities) can be used in decision-making.
VIEWPOINTS: The use of prognostic scores is recommended by the Global Spine Tumour Study Group (GSTSG) for the management of spinal metastases. Among these scores, the most used are the Tokuhashi index, and the Tomita classification. They help to identify the treatment modalities, sometimes combined that might be used in the management: surgery, vertebral resection, tumour embolisation, radiotherapy, chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: The management of spinal metastases of lung cancer should be multidisciplinary. Use of prognostic scores should be encouraged to identify optimal management.