Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, 105:309 | Cite as

Clinicopathological features of breast cancers predict the development of leptomeningeal metastases: a case-control study

  • Emilie Le Rhun
  • Sophie Taillibert
  • Fahed Zairi
  • Patrick Devos
  • Matthieu Faivre Pierret
  • François Dubois
  • Richard Assaker
  • Etienne Buisset
  • Jacques Bonneterre
  • Marie Christine Baranzelli
Clinical Study – Patient Study


The incidence of leptomeningeal metastases (LM) in patients with breast cancer (BC) is increasing as a result of increased screening and improved patient survival. However, the median survival time after diagnosis of LM is between 5 weeks (without any treatment) and 5 months (for aggressively treated patients). In an attempt to identify clinicopathological risk factors for LM, we carried out a case-control study of 100 women with BC. Fifty patients with BC and LM were enrolled and an additional 50 patients with BC and no CNS metastases including leptomeningeal spread were selected as controls. Patients who had developed LM were selected between December 2006 and August 2008. The control group was matched for: age at diagnosis, year of diagnosis, and initiation of chemotherapy at BC diagnosis. The ILC type (P = 0.03), ER-negative (P = 0.01) and PR-negative status (P = 0.03), and initial M+ status at BC diagnosis (P = 0.008) tended to be more frequent in LM patients. These characteristics should lead to early appropriate assessments being performed in this targeted population when a neurological complaint appears, in order to detect LM as soon as possible.


Leptomeningeal metastases Breast cancer 


Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest to declare for any author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilie Le Rhun
    • 1
    • 2
    • 11
  • Sophie Taillibert
    • 3
  • Fahed Zairi
    • 4
  • Patrick Devos
    • 5
    • 6
  • Matthieu Faivre Pierret
    • 7
  • François Dubois
    • 2
  • Richard Assaker
    • 4
    • 6
  • Etienne Buisset
    • 8
  • Jacques Bonneterre
    • 6
    • 9
  • Marie Christine Baranzelli
    • 10
  1. 1.Neurology-Breast Unit, Department of Medical OncologyCentre Oscar LambretLille CedexFrance
  2. 2.Neuro-oncology, Department of NeurosurgeryHopital Roger Salengro, Centre Hospitalier Régional et UniversitaireLille CedexFrance
  3. 3.Department of Neurology Mazarin and Department of RadiotherapyHopital La Pitié Salpétrière, Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris, Université Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgeryHopital Roger Salengro, Centre Hospitalier Régional et UniversitaireLille CedexFrance
  5. 5.Department of BiostatisticsCentre Hospitalier Régional et UniversitaireLille CedexFrance
  6. 6.University of Lille Nord de FranceLille CedexFrance
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyCentre Oscar LambretLille CedexFrance
  8. 8.Department of Medical InformationCentre Oscar LambretLille CedexFrance
  9. 9.Breast Unit, Department of Medical OncologyCentre Oscar LambretLille CedexFrance
  10. 10.Department of PathologyCentre Oscar LambretLille CedexFrance
  11. 11.Department of NeurologyCentre Oscar LambretLille CedexFrance

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