Meningeal carcinomatosis from solid tumors: clinical analysis of 42 cases.

C. C. Liaw, K. T. Ng, J. S. Huang, C. H. Wang, M. C. Kiu, G. M. Lai

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From January 1984 to June 1990, we observed 42 patients with meningeal carcinomatosis, 20 men and 22 women, aged 21 to 80 years (median age, 53 years). The two most common primary malignancies were lung cancer (50%) and breast cancer (31%). Sixty-four per cent was adenocarcinoma. On the first lumbar puncture, 86% had malignant cells in the cerebrospinal fluid. The findings of brain computed tomography were hydrocephalus (62%), contrast enhancement in the cerebral sulci or basal cisterns (31%), concomitant parenchymal metastases (15%) and normal scan (18%). In five out of seven cases, myelography showed irregular filling defects over the spinal cord or cauda equina. Treatment results were evaluated in 24 patients. Eight received radiation therapy (RT) alone, and 16 had combined therapy with RT plus intrathecal methotrexate (IT MTX). Of the patients who received RT alone, only one patient with lung carcinoma was stabilized clinically. Of the cases receiving combined therapy, seven improved clinically. Six of these were patients with breast carcinoma who received IT MTX via Ommaya reservoir. The latter had a median survival of 23 weeks. The follow-up period of the entire group of patients ranged from one day to 50 weeks. The median survival was four weeks. Based on this study, combined therapy with RT and IT MTX is indicated for breast carcinoma with meningeal carcinomatosis, but the therapeutic effects are uncertain for lung carcinoma and other malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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