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Surg Neurol. 1996 Mar;45(3):256-64.

Ventriculolumbar perfusion chemotherapy with methotrexate and cytosine arabinoside for meningeal carcinomatosis: a pilot study in 13 patients.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Center for Adult Diseases, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


Thirteen patients with meningeal carcinomatosis were treated by ventriculolumbar perfusion using methotrexate (MTX) and cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C). MTX (10-30 mg) and Ara-C (40 mg) were infused at 8- to 12-hour intervals on six or nine occasions via an Ommaya reservoir placed in the lateral ventricle. Nine of thirteen patients had evaluable response (69% response rate with a mean survival of 8.8 months among responders) and ventriculolumbar perfusion therapy was effective in improving cerebral, cranial nerve, and spinal root signs and symptoms, especially sensorimotor disturbance in the lower limbs. Three of the six bedridden patients became ambulatory without assistance and two of the four patients who were walking with assistance became ambulatory without assistance. Urinary incontinence also markedly improved, except in one nonresponder. Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid parameters (cytological findings and tumor markers) also improved in association with the clinical improvement. Our pilot results were encouraging, especially the improvement of sensorimotor function in the lower limbs. However, the toxicity was unacceptable when compared with that of standard intrathecal chemotherapy. Thus, this therapy needs to be investigated further to establish the most appropriate drug doses and perfusate volume to reduce toxicity as well as determine its true efficacy in the treatment of meningeal carcinomatosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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