There was a recent study to investigate the predictive value of the number of extra-spinal organs involved by metastases for survival in metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) from prostate cancer.

This was a very small study of only 95 men irradiated with 10×3 Gy for MSCC from prostate cancer. The investigators considered seven factors: Age, performance score, number of involved vertebrae, interval from prostate cancer diagnosis to MSCC, pre-radiotherapy ambulatory status, time to motor deficits development, number of involved extra-spinal organs.

They found that the six-month survival rates for 0, 1 and ?2 involved extra-spinal organs, were 81, 53 and 33%, respectively (p< 0.001).

1- On multivariate analysis, the number of involved extra-spinal organs maintained significance (risk ratio 1.88, p=0.023).
2- Better performance score (p< 0.001), longer interval from prostate cancer diagnosis to radiotherapy of MSCC (p< 0.001), and being ambulatory prior to radiotherapy (p=0.001) were also positively associated with survival.

The researchers concluded that the number of extra-spinal organs involved by metastases predicts survival in men with MSCC from prostate cancer. This is a very small study which is hard to draw conclusions with great confidence, however the results are very logical and have a high probability of being correct.

Anticancer Res. 2013 Oct;33(10):4505-7, Weber A, Bartscht T, Karstens JH, Schild SE, Rades D.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany.

PMID: 24123022