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Another Milestone for Spinal Intramedullary Tumor Treatment

Article information

Neurospine. 2022;19(1):30-31
Publication date (electronic) : 2022 March 31
doi : https://doi.org/10.14245/ns.2244120.060
Department of Neurosurgery and Medical Device Development, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 103 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea
Corresponding Author Chi Heon Kim https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0497-1130 Department of Neurosurgery and Medical Device Development, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 103 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea Email: chiheon@hanmail.net

I read the article “Glioma Immunotherapy: Advances and Challenges for Spinal Cord Gliomas” with great interest, and I hope that this concept will be another game changer [1].

A spinal intramedullary tumor is a challenging disease due to the difficulty of surgical removal without damaging a functional spinal cord. Even with an experienced hand, dysfunction of the dorsal spinal column could occur due to its location, adhesion, and invasion to the normal spinal cord. When removing an intramedullary spinal cord, we have to continuously trade off between oncological and functional outcomes. There have been several milestones to improve those outcomes [2-5]. I think the first milestone would be an introduction to microsurgery. With the help of better visualization, the tumor could be removed with minimal damage to the spinal cord. However, there was a discrepancy between anatomical and functional outcomes. In this regard, the demand to improve functional outcomes led to the introduction of electrophysiological monitoring during surgery. It is a second milestone. However, in many patients, residual or recurrent tumors are inevitable for functional outcomes. We made efforts to improve oncological outcomes using a lesson from brain tumors. However, chemotherapy or radiotherapy was not as dramatic in controlling the problematic tumor as a brain tumor. It is a time to turn our eyes to a different perspective, and immunotherapy may play there. This paper extensively reviewed the concept, possible candidates, and huddles to overcome them. I hope this paper will intrigue scientists and doctors for this perspective.


Conflict of Interest

The author declare no conflict of interest regarding this manuscript.


1. Grady C, Melnick K, Porche K, et al. Glioma immunotherapy: advances and challenges for spinal cord gliomas. Neurospine 2022;19:13–29.
2. Lee S, Cho DC, Rhim SC, et al. Intraoperative monitoring for cauda equina tumors: surgical outcomes and neurophysiological data accrued over 10 years. Neurospine 2021;18:281–9.
3. Vasankari V, Haeren R, Niemelä M, et al. Recovery potential of spinal meningioma patients with preoperative loss of walking ability following surgery - a retrospective single-center study. Neurospine 2022;Jan. 17. https://doi.org/10.14245/ns.2142956.478. [Epub].
4. Reznik E, Smith AW, Taube S, et al. Radiation and immunotherapy in high-grade gliomas: where do we stand? Am J Clin Oncol 2018;41:197–212.
5. Liu EK, Sulman EP, Wen PY, et al. Novel therapies for glioblastoma. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2020;20:19.

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