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J Chemother. 1998 Oct;10(5):399-404.

Mitoxantrone in malignant pericardial effusion.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Tromsø, Norway.


When occurring, malignant pericardial effusion (MPE) is usually a late phenomenon in most malignancies. Several treatment modalities, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, pericardial window operation, pericardiotomy, catheter pericardiocentesis and local cytotoxic or sclerotherapy, have been employed. Mitoxantrone is reported as having potential in malignant pleural effusion. Between 1992-97, 5 patients (breast cancer-4 pts, ovarian cancer-1 pt) were admitted to the University Hospital of Tromsø due to a life-threatening MPE. They were all treated with ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis followed by instillation of mitoxantrone (10 mg). Evaluation at a median follow-up of 59 days (range 28-294 days), 2 patients achieved CR, 1 PR and 2 patients have PD. Two patients are alive 213 and 294 days following therapy. Intrapericardial mitoxantrone instillation is a safe and simple way of handling MPE in malignancies sensitive to mitoxantrone.

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