Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 136, Issue 11, pp 1729–1735 | Cite as

Prognostic factors and treatment options in patients with leptomeningeal metastases of different primary tumors: a retrospective analysis

  • Karin Oechsle
  • Victoria Lange-Brock
  • Andreas Kruell
  • Carsten Bokemeyer
  • Maike de Wit
Original Paper



Leptomeningeal metastases (LM) are associated with very poor prognosis and data on outcome are limited. We evaluated prognostic factors and treatment options in patients (pts) with LM of different malignancies in a single center experience.


Single center data on characteristics, treatment and outcome of 135 consecutive pts (73 solid tumors and 62 hematologic malignancies) with LM between 1989 and 2005 were retrospectively analyzed.


Treatment consisted of systemic chemotherapy (SC) plus intrathecal chemotherapy (ITC) in 28%, ITC alone in 22%, radiotherapy (RT) plus ITC in 12% and other modalities (SC, RT, SC + RT) in 7%. Thirteen percent of pts received supportive care only (4% not evaluable on treatment). Median survival from diagnosis of LM was 2.5 months. Univariate analysis revealed age >50, interval between diagnosis of primary tumor and LM ≤12 months, lung cancer and malignant melanoma, and Karnofsky performance status ≤70 as significant negative predictors for overall survival. Positive predictive factors were response in cerebrospinal fluid and application of SC. In multivariate analysis, only SC was significantly associated with longer median survival (5.6 vs. 1.7 months).


In patients with LM an age >50, performance status ≤70%, interval between diagnosis of primary tumor and LM ≤12 months, primary tumor (lung cancer, malignant melanoma) and lack of cytologic response present negative prognostic factors. Systemic chemotherapy is significantly associated with longer survival time than local treatment modalities.


Leptomeningeal metastases Meningeosis carcinomatosa Intrathecal chemotherapy Radiotherapy 


Conflict of interest statement

We all declare that none of us has any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence the work on the underlying retrospective analysis titled “Prognostic factors and treatment options in patients with leptomeningeal metastases of different primary tumors.”


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin Oechsle
    • 1
  • Victoria Lange-Brock
    • 1
  • Andreas Kruell
    • 3
  • Carsten Bokemeyer
    • 1
  • Maike de Wit
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oncology/Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplantation/PneumologyUniversity Cancer Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Clinic of Internal Medicine–Hematology and OncologyVivantes Klinikum NeukoelnBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Radio- OncologyUniversity Cancer Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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