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J Clin Oncol. 1986 Jan;4(1):68-73.

Combination intraventricular chemotherapy for meningeal neoplasia.


Twenty two patients with meningeal neoplasia were treated with biweekly combination intraventricular chemotherapy using methotrexate, cytosine arabinoside, and thiotepa. Patients with the following malignancies were included: breast cancer, ten patients; lung cancer, seven; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, two; malignant melanoma, one; transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, one; and malignant glioma, one. Eight of 22 patients (36%) had a Karnofsky performance status of less than 50%. Eleven of 22 patients received radiotherapy to symptomatic areas, and seven received systemic chemotherapy in addition to combination intraventricular therapy. Patients were evaluated for both toxicity and response to therapy. Myelosuppression was the major toxic condition and occurred in 17 of 22 patients (77%). Ten patients (45%) had a nadir WBC count of less than 1000/microL or a platelet count of less than 25,000/microL. No patient achieved a complete response (CR), although nine patients (41%) had partial responses (PRs) lasting 4 to 24 + weeks. Median survival for the entire group was 10 weeks (range, 6 to 24+ weeks). In this small group of patients, simultaneous triple-drug intraventricular chemotherapy caused unacceptable myelosuppression without increasing the response rate, response duration, or survival when compared with single-agent methotrexate and radiotherapy.

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