Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is a serious complication of metastatic prostate cancer (PCa). This study retrospectively evaluated patients who presented with paraplegia or quadriplegia because of MSCC of PCa. Of 847 patients with PCa who were treated between 1989 and 1998, 26 (3.1%) demonstrated paraplegia or quadriplegia because of MSCC. Characteristics, treatment efficacy, and prognosis of these patients were analyzed. In total, 15 cases became paraplegic despite androgen ablation therapy (Group I). Average time to paraplegia from initial hormonal treatment was 34 months. Out of nine cases who underwent radiation therapy (RT) to spinal lesions with/without chemotherapy, one patient became ambulatory. However, this patient subsequently had recurrent compression. Two cases had remission of paralysis. Two cases underwent laminectomy plus RT and in one case paralysis improved. MSCC was the first indication of PCa in 11 cases (Group II). Two cases underwent laminectomy plus hormone therapy and nine cases underwent hormone therapy alone. Four patients became ambulatory and two cases showed improved motor capacity. Average interval from paraplegia to death was 7.4 months in Group I and 27.1 months in Group II. However, there was no statistical difference in these two groups on disease-specific survival from the start of initial treatment. It is difficult to recover the ability to walk if paraplegia or quadriplegia occurs in PCa patients although decompression surgery plus hormone therapy seemed to impair the prognosis. Stage M1 patients with paraplegia had survival rates as good as stage M1 patients without paralysis. This should encourage an aggressive treatment approach. However, for patients with hormone-indepedent disease there seems to be no effective treatment and prognosis is poor.
- Bone metastasis
- Spinal cord compression