This was an epidemiological study using national administrative data from the MarketScan database.
To investigate the impact of early versus delayed adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) on wound healing following surgical resection for spinal metastatic disease.
We queried the MarketScan database (2007-2016), identifying patients with a diagnosis of spinal metastasis who also underwent RT within 8 weeks of surgery. Patients were categorized into “Early RT” if they received RT within 4 weeks of surgery and as “Late RT” if they received RT between 4 and 8 weeks after surgery. Descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing were used to compare baseline characteristics and wound complication outcomes.
A total of 540 patients met the inclusion criteria: 307 (56.9%) received RT within 4 weeks (Early RT) and 233 (43.1%) received RT within 4 to 8 weeks (Late RT) of surgery. Mean days to RT for the Early RT cohort was 18.5 (SD, 6.9) and 39.7 (SD, 7.6) for the Late RT cohort. In a 90-day surveillance period, n = 9 (2.9%) of Early RT and n = 8 (3.4%) of Late RT patients developed wound complications (P = .574).
When comparing patients who received RT early versus delayed following surgery, there were no significant differences in the rates of wound complications. Further prospective studies should aim to identify optimal patient criteria for early postoperative RT for spinal metastases.