Lumbosacral chordoma is a slow-growing but locally aggressive tumor, resistant to adjuvant treatments and endowed with dismal prognosis. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment but the choice of surgical approach (the posterior-only approach or the combined anterior–posterior approach) remains an open question due to the need of both pursuing a surgical radicality and preserving the neurologic function. The aim of the study was to compare the surgical and clinical outcomes of these approaches in the management of lumbosacral chordomas. A systematic review and meta-analysis in agreement with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) guidelines of papers comparing the outcomes of the two approaches was performed. Ten papers met the inclusion criteria. The combined anterior–posterior approach was more frequently performed for tumors with an upper level beyond S2 (p = 0.012). The 5-year progression-free survival was significantly higher in posterior-only approach compared with the combined anterior–posterior approach (44.7% vs 27.1%, p = 0.049). Adjuvant radiotherapy was added more frequently after a posterior-only approach (p = 0.036) and the rate of complications was significantly lower after a posterior-only approach (p = 0.040). No significant differences in sex, age, tumor diameter, entity of resection, and overall survival were observed. Posterior-only surgical approach may be a reasonable option for lumbosacral chordoma, being associated with comparable entity of surgical resection, reduced complication rate and increased 5-year progression-free survival rate as compared with combined anterior–posterior approach.
- Onco-functional balance