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Curr Oncol Rep. 2003 Jan;5(1):29-40.

Systemic chemotherapy, intrathecal chemotherapy, and symptom management in the treatment of leptomeningeal metastasis.

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Department of Pediatric Oncology, Texas Children's Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, USA.


Metastasis to the leptomeninges occurs in many common cancers, including leukemia; lung, breast, and gastrointestinal cancers; and tumors of the brain. By way of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, leptomeningeal metastasis spreads throughout the neuraxis. Consequently, therapy for leptomeningeal metastasis must be directed to the entire central nervous system (CNS). Treatment often consists of involved-field radiotherapy, systemic chemotherapy, and intrathecal chemotherapy. However, because meningeal spread occurs most often in advanced disease, treatment is mainly palliative, except in childhood leukemia, where durable remission has been reported. This article outlines the role of systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy in patients with leptomeningeal metastases. Strategies for symptom management in these patients are also described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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