Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Spine Metastases—Findings from an Australian Population-Based Study

Wee Loon Ong, Roger L. Milne, Farshad Foroudi, Jeremy L. Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: To evaluate the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spine metastases and the associated factors in Australia. Methods: The Victorian Radiotherapy Minimum Dataset, which captures all episodes of radiotherapy delivered in the state of Victoria, was accessed to evaluate the patterns and trends of SBRT for spine metastases. The primary outcome was SBRT use and associated factors. Results: There were 6244 patients who received 8861 courses of radiotherapy for spine metastases between 2012 and 2017. Of these, 277 (3%) courses were SBRT, which increased from 0.4% in 2012 to 5% in 2017 (P-trend < 0.001). There was a higher proportion of SBRT use in patients with prostate cancer (6%) and melanoma (4%) compared to other cancers (2–3%) (p < 0.001). Patients from the highest socioeconomic quintiles (5%) were more likely to be treated with SBRT compared to patients from the lowest socioeconomic quintiles (3%) (p < 0.001). There was a higher proportion of SBRT use in private radiotherapy centres (6%) compared to public radiotherapy centres (1%) (p < 0.001). No spine SBRT was delivered in regional centres. In multivariate analyses, the year of treatment, age, primary cancers and radiotherapy centres were independently associated with SBRT use. Conclusion: This is the first Australian population-based study quantifying the increasing use of spine SBRT; however, the overall use of spine SBRT remains low. We anticipate an ongoing increase in spine SBRT, as spine SBRT gradually becomes the standard-of-care treatment for painful spine metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7777-7788
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • health disparities
  • health services
  • spine metastases
  • stereotactic radiotherapy

Cite this