, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 215-222
Date: 29 Dec 2009

Review of metastatic spine tumour classification and indications for surgery: the consensus statement of the Global Spine Tumour Study Group

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Choosing the right operation for metastatic spinal tumours is often difficult, and depends on many factors, including life expectancy and the balance of the risk of surgery against the likelihood of improving quality of life. Several prognostic scores have been devised to help the clinician decide the most appropriate course of action, but there still remains controversy over how to choose the best option; more often the decision is influenced by habit, belief and subjective experience. The purpose of this article is to review the present systems available for classifying spinal metastases, how these classifications can be used to help surgical planning, discuss surgical outcomes, and make suggestions for future research. It is important for spinal surgeons to reach a consensus regarding the classification of spinal metastases and surgical strategies. The authors of this article constitute the Global Spine Tumour Study Group: an international group of spinal surgeons who are dedicated to studying the techniques and outcomes of surgery for spinal tumours, to build on the existing evidence base for the surgical treatment of spinal tumours.

On behalf of the Global Spine Tumour Study Group.