Published online Oct 28, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.5086
Revised: September 18, 2009
Accepted: September 25, 2009
Published online: October 28, 2009
AIM: To identify the clinical features and outcomes of infrequently reported leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC) of gastric cancer.
METHODS: We analyzed 54 cases of cytologically confirmed gastric LMC at four institutions from 1994 to 2007.
RESULTS: The male-to-female ratio was 32:22, and the patients ranged in age from 28 to 78 years (median, 48.5 years). The majority of patients had advanced disease at initial diagnosis of gastric cancer. The clinical or pathologic tumor, node and metastasis stage of the primary gastric cancer was IV in 38 patients (70%). The median interval from diagnosis of the primary malignancy to the diagnosis of LMC was 6.3 mo, ranging between 0 and 73.1 mo. Of the initial endoscopic findings for the 45 available patients, 23 (51%) of the patients were Bormann type III and 15 (33%) patients were Bormann type IV. Pathologically, 94% of cases proved to be poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas. Signet ring cell component was also observed in 40% of patients. Headache (85%) and nausea/vomiting (58%) were the most common presenting symptoms of LMC. A gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging was conducted in 51 patients. Leptomeningeal enhancement was noted in 45 cases (82%). Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy was administered to 36 patients-primarily methotrexate alone (61%), but also in combination with hydrocortisone/± Ara-C (39%). The median number of IT treatments was 7 (range, 1-18). Concomitant radiotherapy was administered to 18 patients, and concomitant chemotherapy to seven patients. Seventeen patients (46%) achieved cytological negative conversion. Median overall survival duration from the diagnosis of LMC was 6.7 wk (95% CI: 4.3-9.1 wk). In the univariate analysis of survival duration, hemoglobin, IT chemotherapy, and cytological negative conversion showed superior survival duration (P = 0.038, P = 0.010, and P = 0.002, respectively). However, in our multivariate analysis, only cytological negative conversion was predictive of relatively longer survival duration (3.6, 6.7 and 14.6 wk, P = 0.030, RR: 0.415, 95% CI: 0.188-0.918).
CONCLUSION: Although these patients had a fatal clinical course, cytologic negative conversion by IT chemotherapy may improve survival.