Solitary versus multiple bone metastases in the appendicular skeleton: SHOULD THE SURGICAL TREATMENT BE DIFFERENT?

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Aims We first sought to compare survival for patients treated surgically for solitary and multiple metastases in the appendicular skeleton, and second, to explore the role of complete and incomplete resection (R0 and R1/R2) in patients with a solitary bony metastasis in the appendicular skeleton. Methods We conducted a retrospective study on a population-based cohort of all adult patients treated surgically for bony metastases of the appendicular skeleton between January 2014 and December 2019. We excluded patients in whom the status of bone metastases and resection margin was unknown. Patients were followed until the end of the study or to their death. We had no loss to follow-up. We used Kaplan-Meier analysis (with log-rank test) to evaluate patient survival. We identified 506 operations in 459 patients. A total of 120 operations (in 116 patients) were for solitary metastases and 386 (in 345 patients) for multiple metastases. Of the 120 operations, 70 (in 69 patients) had no/an unknown status of visceral metastases (solitary group) and 50 (in 49 patients) had visceral metastases. In the solitary group, 45 operations (in 44 patients) were R0 (resections for cure or complete remission) and 25 (in 25 patients) were R1/R2 (resections leaving microscopic or macroscopic tumour, respectively). The most common types of cancer in the solitary group were kidney (n = 27), lung (n = 25), and breast (n = 20). Results The one-year patient survival was 47% (95% confidence interval (CI) 38 to 57) for the solitary bony metastases and 34% (95% CI 29 to 39) for multiple bone metastases (p < 0.001). The one-year patient survival was 64% (95% CI 52 to 75) for solitary bony metastases without/with unknown visceral metastases and 23% (95% CI 11 to 36) for solitary bony metastases with visceral metastases (p < 0.001). The one-year patient survival was 75% (95% CI 62 to 89) for a solitary bony metastasis after R0 surgery and 42% (95% CI 22 to 61) for a solitary bony metastasis with R1/R2 surgery (p < 0.001). Conclusion Our study suggests that the surgical treatment of patients with a solitary bony metastasis to the appendicular skeleton results in better survival than for patients with multiple bony metastases. Furthermore, aggressive treatment of a solitary bony metastasis with R0 surgery may improve patient survival.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1206-1215
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery. All rights reserved.

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