Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression
What we do
We see current King’s cancer patients with symptoms of metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC). This is an uncommon condition affecting people with certain cancers that have spread to the bones in the spine, or have started in the spine. Secondary cancer in the spine can be painful and if not treated, can lead to spinal cord compression and damage.
Preparing for your appointment
No specific preparation is needed before your appointment.
First floor, Willowfield Building, King's College Hospital, Bessemer Road, SE5 9BG
- Main Reception: +44 (0)20 3299 5468
- Appointments: +44 (0)20 3299 6804
- MSCC Coordinator: +44 (0)20 3299 5468
Conditions we treat
We accept referrals for current King’s cancer patients with any of the following symptoms:
- severe intractable progressive pain - especially in thoracic region
- new spinal nerve root pain (burning, shooting, causing numbness)
- altered sensation and/or reduced power in limbs
- bladder and/or bowel disturbance (i.e. new onset of incontinence).
Please refer children with any of the above symptoms to paediatric neurosurgery in the first instance. They will then make an internal referral, as needed.
We do not treat:
- adults with nerve roots tumours compressing the spinal cord.
- adults with spinal cord compression caused by primary tumours of the spinal cord and meninges - referrals should be made to neuro-oncology
- adults with spinal cord compression due to non-malignant causes – referrals should be made to spinal surgery.
Booking a patient at King's
For adult patients with symptoms of spinal metastasis or MSCC without new neurological symptoms:
- GPs: Contact the MSCC Coordinator on 07528 977590 (Mon–Fri 9am-5pm) to discuss arranging an MRI scan. Then complete the MSCC referral form (below) and email it with MRI spine images to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hospital referrers: complete an MRI within 7 days and contact the MSCC Coordinator within 24 hours of the scan on 07528 977590 (Mon–Fri 9am-5pm). Then complete the MSCC referral form (below) and email it with MRI spine images to: email@example.com
For patients with symptoms of spinal metastasis or MSCC with neurological symptoms:
- Monday –Friday 9am-5pm: Phone +44 (0)20 3299 5468/ 07528 977590 to alert the team to the referral. Then complete the MSCC referral form (below) and email it with any radiological reports (CT and MRI) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Out of hours - Monday-Friday 5pm-9am, and 24 hours a day on weekends and bank holidays: Tertiary referrers should use the inter-hospital acute referrals system. GPs should phone 020 3299 4207 to speak to the on-call Neurosurgical STR. If you cannot contact the STR within one hour, make direct consultant-to-consultant referral to the on-call Neurosurgical Consultant via the switchboard on 020 3299 9000.
The MSCC leaflet for referrers gives more information on referral pathways.
Contact the MSCC Coordinator on +44 (0)20 3299 5468 to:
- clarify the clinical context of your completed referral form
- have further discussion with the on-call Spine Neurosurgeon Consultant
- discuss the MDM outcome and any follow-up action.
Out-of-hours, contact the Neurosurgeon SpR on call on +44 (0)20 3299 4207.
Please complete the relevant form and note any pre-consultation investigations required:
Key Clinical Staff
|Mr David Bell||Consultant Neurosurgeon and clinical lead for MSCC|
|Mr Irfan Malik||Consultant Neurosurgeon|
|Mr Nick Thomas||Consultant Neurosurgeon|