This guideline covers detecting and managing metastatic spinal cord compression in adults with cancer that has spread to the spine. It aims to improve quality of life by promoting early detection and management, and reducing spinal cord damage and disability.
NICE has also produced guidance on denosumab for the prevention of skeletal-related events in adults with bone metastases from solid tumours.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- service configuration and urgency of treatment
- supporting patient decisions and offering emotional and family support
- early detection
- supportive care and rehabilitation
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Adults with metastatic spinal cord compression, their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
We checked this guideline in February 2014. We identified no major studies that will affect the recommendations in the next 3–5 years.
Next review: February 2019
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called metastatic spinal cord compression: diagnosis and management of adults at risk of and with metastatic spinal cord compression.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.