This special issue of Annals of Translational Medicine focuses on tumors in and around the spine. The field of spine tumor surgery is undergoing a transition period, as multidisciplinary care of the patient with the spinal tumor has become the standard of care. With this comes the discussion of what adjuvant/neoadjuvant therapies to use and when to use them. Developments in non-surgical technologies and medications (e.g., heavy particle radiation, immunotherapy) have contributed greatly to the overall care we are now able to offer to our patients. Yet due to the relative rarity of spine tumors, it can at times be challenging to know how best to implement new findings or new technologies. Despite these significant non-operative advances, surgery remains the standard of care for most primary spinal tumors (both intra- and extradural) and many metastatic tumors. Within spine tumor surgery there is also now more and more collaboration between Neurosurgeons and Orthopaedic surgeons, which is also reflected in the expert surgeons invited to contribute to this issue. Both in and out of the operating room we personally have found this collaboration to be mutually beneficial, as each field brings its own unique training and perspective to some of the most difficult surgical cases.
In this issue we have invited experts from around the world to join us and have carefully selected the papers that best represent some of the most current issues in spine tumor surgery. We have relied heavily on prominent content and technical experts from around the world to help with this issue, each contributing in their specific expertise. For example, in this issue you will find Dr. Pete Rose’s team from the Mayo Clinic addressing updates to staging primary tumors of the spine, Dr. Joe Schwab’s team from Harvard and Dr. Jacob Buchowski’s team from Washington University addressing metastatic disease of the spine, Dr. Ziya Gokaslan’s group from Brown addressing complications encountered during spine tumor surgery, and Dr. Ilya Laufer and the Sloan Kettering team addressing complications with radiosurgery, just to name a few.
In summary, we think this issue will be of great interest to spine surgeons, but also to spine researchers and other spine health care providers as well. We are humbled and grateful to be part of curating this collection of reports from the world’s experts.