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Durable Response of Leptomeningeal Metastasis of Breast Cancer to Salvage Intrathecal Etoposide After Methotrexate: A Case Report and Literature Review

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual setting of medical care, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Min Jae Park

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, South Korea

Am J Case Rep 2015; 16:524-527

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.894007

Available online:

Published: 2015-08-10


BACKGROUND: Leptomeningeal metastasis (LM) is recently on the rise as one of important clinical issues in the management of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Clinical research on salvage intrathecal chemotherapy after failure of first-line treatment for MBC patients with LM has rarely been reported.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a breast cancer patient with LM who showed durable response to salvage intrathecal etoposide subsequent to failure of methotrexate. Etoposide 1 mg was injected through an Ommaya reservoir every week. Corticosteroid was used for a prophylaxis of chemical arachnoiditis. The treatment was successful palliation of LM for 33 weeks without significant adverse effects. Time to neurologic progression was estimated to be about 230 days for the treatment and overall survival was 301 days from the diagnosis of LM.
CONCLUSIONS: Intrathecal etoposide can be considered as an additional treatment option for LM in breast cancer. Further large clinical studies are necessary to investigate the effectiveness and safety of the treatment.

Keywords: Antineoplastic Agents - therapeutic use, Adult, Breast Neoplasms - pathology, Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast - secondary, Etoposide - therapeutic use, Female, Humans, Injections, Spinal, Meningeal Neoplasms - secondary, Methotrexate - therapeutic use, Salvage Therapy



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