The spinal distribution of metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Support for locoregional rather than arterial hematogenous mode of early bony dissemination

Kyrollis Attalla, Cihan Duzgol, Lily McLaughlin, Jessica Flynn, Irina Ostrovnaya, Paul Russo, Mark H. Bilsky, A. Ari Hakimi, Nelson S. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Quantifying the degree to which spinal involvement of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) is a locoregional phenomenon vs. a hematogenous, bone-specific affinity has implications for prognosis and antimetastatic therapy. Objective: To investigate the distribution of spinal metastasis in mRCC and to explore relationships between clinical factors and patterns of spinal spread. Methods: Patients with mRCC and spinal involvement from June 2005 to November 2018 were identified. Clinical and biologic features including primary tumor size and degree of spinal and nonbony metastatic involvement were collected. Spinal distributions were evaluated by the permutation test, with the null hypothesis that metastases are distributed uniformly across levels. Results: One hundred patients with 685 spinal levels involved by mRCC were evaluated. A nonuniform spatial distribution was observed across the cohort (P < 0.001); a preponderance of thoracolumbar involvement was noted with the mode at L3. No significant deviation in metastatic distribution from uniform was observed in right- or left-sided tumors, subgroups of distant or local metastases, or histology. Patients with smaller tumors (<4 cm) and local spread had distribution of spinal metastases not significantly different from uniform (P = 0.292 and P = 0.126, respectively). Conclusions: These data support a dominant locoregional as opposed to arterial hematogenous mechanism for early spinal dissemination of mRCC. Characterizations of the biologic molecular features contributing to osseous tropism and aggressive tumor biology (as seen in the subset of outlier patients with small tumors who appear to have more uniform spread), have implications for surveillance and are an area of active investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196.e9-196.e14
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Metastatic distribution
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Spinal metastasis
  • Spine

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