Editors: Christopher P. Ames, MD; Stefano Boriani, MD; and Rahul Jandial, MD
Section Editors: Mark H. Bilsky, MD: Frank D. Vrionis, MD; Vedat Deviren, MD; Yoshiya Yamada, MD; and Rex A.W. Marco, MD
Publisher: Thieme – 922 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

The study of tumors of the spine, including their classification and diagnosis, has grown rapidly in recent years. One notable development in this field is the use of multidisciplinary approaches to their treatment as part of the physician-patient decision-making relationship.

The editors point: “spine oncology has come into its own as a specialty, with full integration of medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiosurgery, and spinal surgery.” Coming increasingly into wider use is en bloc resection for primary tumors, with wider access to this type of treatment at regional centers.

They elaborate on this by stating: “Treatment of metastatic tumors has evolved from transcavitary approaches to transpedicular corporectomy to ‘separation surgery’ as an adjunct to radiosurgery.” At the same time, medical oncology has made numerous strides in the treatment of primary diseases such as cancers of the breast, lung, and prostate that sometimes spread to the regions of the spine.

Due to such developments, the editors of this book aimed to bring together the advancements in medical oncology, surgical techniques, and combined therapy together in a comprehensive volume to guide clinicians in the care of spine tumor patients. The result is this book of over 900 pages.

One hundred and eight specialists in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and spine surgery from around the United States and eight other countries – Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea – authored or coauthored the 50 chapters of this large textbook. The chapters are allocated among four broad Sections that we name below to provide you an overview of the coverage:

  1. Section I. Fundamentals
  2. Section II. Oncology
  3. Section III. Operative Techniques
  4. Section IV. Complications and Outcomes

DVD Videos:

  • Foramen Magnum Meningioma
  • Chordoma of the Cranio-Cervical Junction
  • Four-Level En Bloc Cervical Chordoma
  • Neurinoma
  • C5-6 Foramen Decompression
  • Vertebral Artery Loop at C5-6
  • 270-Degree En Bloc Thoracic Chondrosarcoma
  • Single-Stage Thoracic En Bloc with the Tomita Saw System
  • Lumbar En Bloc Resection
  • Double-Approach Vertebrectomy
  • En Bloc Total Sacrectomy and Reconstruction

The topics covered in this volume are numerous and varied. Instead of listing the titles of chapters as we normally do in book reviews, we are going to alphabetically mention the topics discussed in each of the four Sections, to give you a better idea of what you will find in this book

Section I – Fundamentals: heavy particle radiation, imaging of spinal cord tumors, physical and occupational therapy, plastic surgery for primary reconstruction, scoring system for metastatic tumors: aggressive and palliative, speech and swallow management, spine and spinal cord anatomy for tumor surgery, spine biomechanics, and balance of tumor reconstruction, and spine stereotactic radiosurgery,

Section II – Oncology: aneurismal bone cysts, breast cancer, chordoma, chordosarcoma of the spine, giant cell tumors, hemangiomas, intradural extramedullary tumors, osteoid osteomas and osteoblastomas, osteosarcoma, plasmacytoma and multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, soft tissue sarcomas and malignant peripheral nerve, and systematic treatment of advanced lung cancer.

Section III – Operative Techniques: advanced thoracic approaches to the spine, approaches to percutaneous image-guided spine biopsy, combined far-lateral approaches and reconstruction, combined lateral / posterior approach for large anterior / lateral lesions, distal sacrectomy, embolization and test occlusion, en bloc resection of primary tumors of the cervical spine, en bloc spondylectomy: single-stage thoracic spine, en bloc spondylectomy: two-stage thoracic / lumbar spine;

Hemipelvectomy and hemicorporectomy: hindquarter amputation, pancoast tumors, paramedian transpedicular approach for ventral intradural extramedullary tumors of the cervical and cervicothoracic spine, pediatric spine and spinal cord tumors, proximal sacrectomy and pelvic reconstruction;

Sagittal osteotomy for en bloc resection of lateralized tumors of the lumbar spine, surgical management of nerve sheath tumors, thoracoscopic resection and reconstruction, T-saw laminoplasty, transoral and transglossal approach or transmandibular circumglossal approach to the cervical spine, and vertical artery sacrifice and mobilization.

Section IV: Complications and Outcomes:  complications in spine tumor surgery, and outcomes reporting in spine surgery.

This book provides quite an extensive coverage of tumors and abnormalities related to the spine, and information on their management and treatment, including operative techniques and approaches. The materials, including graphics, are well organized and presented by its editors. This book is also very authoritative, with more than a hundred specialists contributing to its content.



Christopher P. Ames, MD is Professor of Neurosurgery, and Director of Spine Tumor Surgery in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California San Francisco in San Francisco, California.

Stefano Boriani, MD is Director of the Department of Oncologic and degenerative Spine Surgery at Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, Italy

Rahul Jandial, MD, PhD is Assistant Professor in the Division of Neurosurgery at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California.


Section Editors:

Mark H. Bilsky, MD

Frank D. Vrionis, MD

Vedat Deviren, MD

Yoshiya Yamada, MD

Rex A.W. Marco, MD