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      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management (submit here)

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      Effect of the Timing of Surgery on Neurological Recovery for Patients with Incomplete Paraplegia Caused by Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression


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          This study aimed to investigate the effect of timing of surgery on neurological recovery for patients with metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC).


          According to the timing of surgery, 75 patients with incomplete paraplegia caused by MSCC were assigned to 3 groups: within 3 days (group A), between 4 days and 7 days (group B), and after 7 days (group C). T-test, one-way ANOVA, Mann–Whitney U-test, and Chi-square test were used to evaluate the difference in the improvement of American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) and ambulatory status, the incidence of perioperative complications, surgical site infection, and the length of hospital stay between 3 groups.


          Patients with incomplete paraplegia treated in our department had an average of 17.4±1.8 days delayed and most occurred before hospitalization (4.0±0.4 vs 13.2±1.8, P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the AIS improvement between patients with different pre-op AIS. The timing of surgery was significantly correlated with AIS improvement (correlation coefficient=−0.257, P=0.019). Sub-analysis showed that patients who underwent surgery within 7 days (group A and group B) had significantly better AIS improvement compared with group C (improved at least 1 grade, P=0.043; improved more than 1 grade, P=0.039) and the surgery timing was more important for patients with AIS B and C. The timing of surgery was significantly correlated with the length of hospital stay (correlation coefficient=0.335, P=0.003). Patients of group C had the longest length of hospital stay (P=0.002). The incidence of perioperative complications and surgical site infection did not differ significantly between the 3 groups.


          Delay surgery was common in incomplete paraplegia patients with MSCC. Patients with AIS B and C who underwent surgery within 7 days had better AIS improvement.

          Most cited references23

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          Cancer statistics, 2019

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. Incidence data, available through 2015, were collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program; the National Program of Cancer Registries; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data, available through 2016, were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2019, 1,762,450 new cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Over the past decade of data, the cancer incidence rate (2006-2015) was stable in women and declined by approximately 2% per year in men, whereas the cancer death rate (2007-2016) declined annually by 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively. The overall cancer death rate dropped continuously from 1991 to 2016 by a total of 27%, translating into approximately 2,629,200 fewer cancer deaths than would have been expected if death rates had remained at their peak. Although the racial gap in cancer mortality is slowly narrowing, socioeconomic inequalities are widening, with the most notable gaps for the most preventable cancers. For example, compared with the most affluent counties, mortality rates in the poorest counties were 2-fold higher for cervical cancer and 40% higher for male lung and liver cancers during 2012-2016. Some states are home to both the wealthiest and the poorest counties, suggesting the opportunity for more equitable dissemination of effective cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment strategies. A broader application of existing cancer control knowledge with an emphasis on disadvantaged groups would undoubtedly accelerate progress against cancer.
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            The NOMS framework: approach to the treatment of spinal metastatic tumors.

            Spinal metastases frequently arise in patients with cancer. Modern oncology provides numerous treatment options that include effective systemic, radiation, and surgical options. We delineate and provide the evidence for the neurologic, oncologic, mechanical, and systemic (NOMS) decision framework, which is used at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to determine the optimal therapy for patients with spine metastases. We provide a literature review of the integral publications that serve as the basis for the NOMS framework and report the results of systematic implementation of the NOMS-guided treatment. The NOMS decision framework consists of the neurologic, oncologic, mechanical, and systemic considerations and incorporates the use of conventional external beam radiation, spinal stereotactic radiosurgery, and minimally invasive and open surgical interventions. Review of radiation oncology and surgical literature that examine the outcomes of treatment of spinal metastatic tumors provides support for the NOMS decision framework. Application of the NOMS paradigm integrates multimodality therapy to optimize local tumor control, pain relief, and restoration or preservation of neurologic function and minimizes morbidity in this often systemically ill patient population. NOMS paradigm provides a decision framework that incorporates sentinel decision points in the treatment of spinal metastases. Consideration of the tumor sensitivity to radiation in conjunction with the extent of epidural extension allows determination of the optimal radiation treatment and the need for surgical decompression. Mechanical stability of the spine and the systemic disease considerations further help determine the need and the feasibility of surgical intervention.
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              Does early decompression improve neurological outcome of spinal cord injured patients? Appraisal of the literature using a meta-analytical approach.

              Definitive and unequivocal evidence to support the practice of early or late surgery is still lacking in clinical studies. Accordingly, meta-analysis is one of the few methods that offer a rational, statistical approach to management decision. A review of the clinical literature on spinal cord injury with emphasis on the role of early surgical decompression and a meta-analysis of results was performed. To determine whether neurological outcome is improved in traumatic spinal cord-injured patients who had surgery within 24 h as compared with those who had late surgery or conservative treatment. A Medline search covering the period 1966-2000, supplemented with manual search, was used to locate studies containing information on indication, rationale and timing of surgical decompression after spinal cord injuries. The analysis included a total of 1687 eligible patients. Statistically, early decompression resulted in better outcome compared with both conservative (P<0.001) and late management (P<0.001). Nevertheless, analysis of homogeneity showed that only data regarding patients with incomplete neurological deficits who had early surgery were reliable. Although statistically the percentage of patients with incomplete neurological deficits improving after early decompression appear 89.7% (95% confidence interval: 83.9, 95.5%), to be better than with the other modes of treatment when taking into consideration the material available for analysis and the various other factors including clinical limitations; early surgical decompression can only be considered as practice option for all groups of patients.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                13 August 2021
                : 17
                : 831-840
                [1 ]Department of Orthopaedics, Peking University First Hospital , Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Neurosurgery, Peking University First Hospital , Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Xuedong Shi Department of Orthopedic, Peking University First Hospital , No. 7 Xishiku Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, 100032, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 10-83575660 Email pku_ortho@163.com
                Author information
                © 2021 Cui 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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                : 09 May 2021
                : 30 July 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, References: 23, Pages: 10
                Funded by: No funding was received;
                This study was supported by the Opening Foundation of State key laboratory of molecular developmental biology (NO. 2021-MDB-KF-20).
                Original Research

                timing of surgery,metastatic spinal cord compression,incomplete paraplegia,neurologic function


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