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      Effect of pedicle fixation combined with 125I seed implantation for metastatic thoracolumbar tumors

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          The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of pedicle fixation combined with 125I brachytherapy in treating metastatic thoracolumbar tumors.

          Patients and methods

          A retrospective analysis of the clinical data of seven metastatic thoracolumbar tumor patients who received pedicle fixation combined with radioactive 125I seed implantation brachytherapy in our department between January 2009 and December 2013 was performed. The visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and the Karnofsky performance status (KPS) score before the operation and 1, 6, and 12 months after the operation were observed and recorded. The changes in the scores at each time point were compared.


          All the patients underwent a successful operation, without any complications during their hospitalization. All the patients received postoperative follow-up, and the duration of follow-up was 15–50 months, with an average of 32.2 months. One pancreatic cancer patient died of liver failure and hypoproteinemia 28 months post surgery. The VAS scores of patients before the operation and 1, 6, and 12 months after the operation were 7.43±0.98, 2.71±0.49, 3.00±0.82, and 4.29±0.98, respectively; the KPS scores were 52.9±9.5, 84.3±5.3, 75.7±5.3, and 72.9±4.9, respectively. These results suggest that the VAS score at each time point was significantly decreased compared with that before the operation, while the KPS score was significantly increased compared with that before the operation. Both differences had statistical significance ( P<0.05).


          As a therapy for advanced malignant tumors with thoracolumbar metastasis, pedicle fixation combined with 125I brachytherapy can effectively relieve short-term pain and improve patient’s quality of life.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Scoring system for the preoperative evaluation of metastatic spine tumor prognosis.

          An assessment system for the prognosis of metastatic spine tumors was evaluated for 64 cases who had undergone surgery. Six parameters were employed in the assessment system: 1) the general condition, 2) the number of extraspinal bone metastases, 3) the number of metastases in the vertebral body, 4) metastases to the major internal organs (lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain), 5) the primary site of the cancer, and 6) the severity of spinal cord palsy. Each parameter ranged from 0 to 2 points. The total score obtained for each patient can be correlated with the prognosis, while being valuable in predicting it. However, the prognosis could not be predicted from a single parameter. In conclusion, an excisional operation should be performed on those cases who scored above 9 points, while a palliative operation is indicated for those who scored under 5 points.
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            Hedgehog signaling and therapeutics in pancreatic cancer.

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            To conduct a systematic review of the role that the hedgehog signaling pathway has in pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis. PubMed search (2000-2010) and literature based references. Firstly, in 2009 a genetic analysis of pancreatic cancers found that a core set of 12 cellular signaling pathways including hedgehog were genetically altered in 67-100% of cases. Secondly, in vitro and in vivo studies of treatment with cyclopamine (a naturally occurring antagonist of the hedgehog signaling pathway component; Smoothened) has shown that inhibition of hedgehog can abrogate pancreatic cancer metastasis. Thirdly, experimental evidence has demonstrated that sonic hedgehog (Shh) is correlated with desmoplasia in pancreatic cancer. This is important because targeting the Shh pathway potentially may facilitate chemotherapeutic drug delivery as pancreatic cancers tend to have a dense fibrotic stroma that extrinsically compresses the tumor vasculature leading to a hypoperfusing intratumoral circulation. It is probable that patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer will derive the greatest benefit from treatment with Smoothened antagonists. Fourthly, it has been found that ligand dependent activation by hedgehog occurs in the tumor stromal microenvironment in pancreatic cancer, a paracrine effect on tumorigenesis. Finally, in pancreatic cancer, cells with the CD44+CD24+ESA+ immunophenotype select a population enriched for cancer initiating stem cells. Shh is increased 46-fold in CD44+CD24+ESA+ cells compared with normal pancreatic epithelial cells. Medications that destruct pancreatic cancer initiating stem cells are a potentially novel strategy in cancer treatment. Aberrant hedgehog signaling occurs in pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis and therapeutics that target the transmembrane receptor Smoothened abrogate hedgehog signaling and may improve the outcomes of patients with pancreatic cancer.
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              General principles of external beam radiation therapy for skeletal metastases.

              Radiation therapy plays a major role in the treatment of patients with bone metastases. The primary goals of treatment include pain relief and relief of neurologic symptoms, if present. Approximately 70% of patients will achieve pain relief with palliative external beam radiotherapy. Improvement in the severity of pain may occur within as few as 48 to 72 hours of initiation of therapy, but in some patients significant relief of pain may not occur for 4 weeks after completion of therapy. Treatment schemes ranging from 800 cGy in a single treatment to 3000 cGy in 10 treatments have not been shown to result in major differences in outcome. Treatment decisions must be individualized based on factors such as the patient's performance status, life expectancy, location of the lesion, and size of area to be treated. External beam radiotherapy is recommended after surgical treatment of pathologic fractures or impending fractures to decrease the need for a second surgical procedure and improve the patient's functional outcome. External beam radiotherapy continues to be an important component of the palliative treatment of bone metastases. Its integration with newer therapeutic modalities such as vertebroplasty and radiofrequency ablation currently is being studied.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                10 May 2016
                : 9
                : 271-278
                Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jun Zou; Huilin Yang, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, 188 Shizi Street, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 512 6778 0101, Fax +86 512 6778 0999, Email jzou@ 123456suda.edu.cn ; hlyang@ 123456suda.edu.cn
                © 2016 Qian et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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