Treatment and prognosis of leptomeningeal disease secondary to metastatic breast cancer: A single-centre experience.
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Purpose Leptomeningeal disease (LMD) is an uncommon complication of advanced breast cancer. The prognosis is poor, and although radiotherapy (RT), systemic and intra-thecal (IT) chemotherapy are accepted treatment modalities, efficacy data are limited. This study was designed to evaluate potential predictors of survival in this patient group.Methods Breast cancer patients with LMD diagnosed by MRI in a 10-year period (2004-2014) were identified from electronic patient records. PFS and OS estimates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier method, with planned sub-group analysis by treatment modality. Cox regression was employed to identify significant prognostic variables.Results We identified 182 eligible patients; all female, median age at LMD diagnosis 52.5 years (range 23-80). Ninety patients (49.5%) were ER positive/HER2 negative; 48 (26.4%) were HER2 positive, and 27 (14.8%) were triple negative. HER2 status was unknown in 17 (9.3%). Initial management of LMD was most commonly whole or partial brain RT in 62 (34.1%), systemic therapy in 45 (24.7%) or supportive care alone in 37 (20.3%). Fourteen patients (7.7%) underwent IT chemotherapy, of whom two also received IT trastuzumab. From diagnosis of LMD, the median PFS was 3.9 months (95%CI 3.2-5.0) and median OS was 5.4 months (95%CI 4.2-6.6). Patients treated with systemic therapy had the longest OS (median 8.8 months, 95%CI 5.5-11.1), compared to RT; 6.1 months (95%CI 4.2-7.9 months), IT therapy; 2.9 months (95%CI 1.2-5.8) and supportive care; 1.7 months (95%CI 0.9-3.0). On multivariable analysis, triple negative histology, concomitant brain metastases, and LMD involving both the brain and spinal cord were associated with poor OS.Conclusions Breast cancer patients with triple negative LMD, concomitant brain metastases or LMD affecting both the spine and brain have the poorest prognosis. Clinical trials to identify more effective treatments for these patients are urgently needed.
Version of record
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Proportional Hazards Models
Aged, 80 and over
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Endocrine Therapy Resistance
Medicine (RMH Smith Cunningham)
Treatment of thoracic tumours
License start date
Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2017, 36 pp. 54 - 59