Feasibility of local administration of chemotherapeutic drugs as an effective adjuvant therapy in primary, recurrent and metastatic extradural tumours of the spine—review

Karthikeyan Maharajan


Present day multimodality treatment with advances in systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy has increased the survival of patients significantly even in those primary tumours which were once considered to have a poor prognosis. However, local recurrence can severely jeopardise the quality of life and even reduce survival. Hence local recurrence is considered as the worst complication in the management of spinal tumours and the need to achieving adequate local tumour control cannot be overemphasised. Techniques like en bloc resections which significantly reduce the chances of local recurrence are always not possible due to anatomical and technical reasons and sometimes, not feasible in debilitated patients. Local administration of chemotherapeutic drugs has already been recognised as a treatment strategy in the management of bladder and brain tumours. In this literature review, an attempt is made to explore the available evidence in the English literature for local administration of chemotherapeutic drugs in the surgical management of primary, recurrent and metastatic spinal tumours.