Management of Epidural Cauda Equina Disease of Prostate Cancer by Radiotherapy

Federico L. Ampil, Richard L. Martinez, Ajay Jawahar, Brian K. Willis, Anil Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Secondary prostate cancer affection of the cauda equina (SPCCE) can be an ultimate cause of morbidity and mortality. Since the results of management of this particular disease condition remain largely unknown, a retrospective case review was undertaken to determine the effects of treatment by radiation in SPCCE patients. Methods: The records of 12 patients with SPCCE treated at the Division of Therapeutic Radiology during the period 1984 to 1998 were reviewed. The administered total radiation dosage ranged from 6 Gy to 32 Gy (average, 26.6±2.0 Gy). Two individuals underwent decompressive laminectomy and bilateral orchiectomy at the time of SPCCE and prostate cancer diagnoses. Ten patients had prior hormonal manipulative treatment (orchiectomy, estrogen, or Flutamide therapy). Results: Pain was relieved in three of four symptomatic patients (75%). Five of nine patients unable to walk before therapy could walk after treatment. One of two individuals with anal or bladder sphincter dysfunction improved following irradiation. The overall mean duration of survival was five months. With treatment, survival was approximately three times as long for ambulatory versus non-ambulatory patients. Conclusion: We conclude that radiation treatment is efficacious in promoting palliation of SPCCE, although it may not prolong life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-149
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation Medicine - Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


  • Cauda equina
  • Metastatic tumor
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy


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