Efficacy of intrathecal chemotherapy in patients with central nervous system involvement of hematological malignancies: a retrospective analysis
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Central nervous system (CNS) involvement, especially involvement of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), is common in several haematological malignancies. Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy can be used to manage CSF involvement.
Here we evaluated the effectiveness of IT chemotherapy among 80 patients with haematological malignancies and CSF localization who were treated with IT chemotherapy from 2001 to 2012.
The majority of patients was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (26%) or acute lymphoblastic leukaemia/lymphoblastic lymphoma (19%). After first-line IT chemotherapy, which mainly consisted of methotrexate (MTX) and corticosteroids, CSF complete response (CSF CR) was achieved in 76% of patients. 91% reached CSF CR when including second-line IT-chemotherapy. Clinical response was documented in 75%. Although most patients were additionally treated with systemic chemotherapy, response rate did not differ between patients treated with CNS-penetrating and CNS-non-penetrating drugs. CNS progression/relapse occurred in 40% of patients with median progression-free survival of 12.2 months. The median overall survival was 18.3 months; 55% of the patients died during follow-up.
Our analysis shows a high response rate after first-line IT chemotherapy, but also a relatively high progression/relapse percentage.
KeywordsIntrathecal chemotherapy Hematological malignancies Methotrexate Cerebrospinal fluid
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors report no conflict of interest.
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