Intraventricular concentration times time (C x T) methotrexate and cytarabine for patients with recurrent meningeal leukemia and lymphoma

Asher M. Moser, Peter C. Adamson, Andrea J. Gillespie, David G. Poplack, Frank M. Balis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Intraventricular chemotherapy results in more uniform drug distribution within the subarachnoid space and allows for more flexible drug administration schedules. The authors report their experience with an intraventricular concentration times time (C x T) chemotherapy regimen for recurrent meningeal leukemia and lymphoma. METHODS. Twenty-one patients (median age, 11.6 years) received C x T therapy for meningeal acute lymphoblastic leukemia (n = 18), Burkitt's lymphoma (n = 2), or undifferentiated leukemia (n = 1). Prior therapy included standard intrathecal (IT) methotrexate and cytarabine, cranial or craniospinal radiation (median, 24 Gy), and 0-5 experimental treatment modalities. C x T induction therapy consisted of 2 mg of intraventricular methotrexate administered daily for 3 days every 10 days, for 4 courses. Patients were then consolidated with 4 courses of alternating intraventricular cytarabine (15 mg/day) or methotrexate (2 mg/day) daily for 3 days every 2 weeks (2 courses of methotrexate and 2 courses of cytarabine). Maintenance therapy consisted of alternating monthly courses of C x T methotrexate or cytarahine. RESULTS. Ninety-three percent of patients (14 of 15) who were evaluable for response achieved a complete remission in a median of 10 days (range, 2-40 days). Median remission duration was 15 months. Fourteen patients died of recurrent disease or systemic treatment-related complications; 2 patients are alive, off treatment, and in continuous complete remission for 59+ and 89+ months; 1 patient experienced a meningeal relapse at 24 months on C x T therapy but was reinduced with the C x T regimen, received craniospinal radiation, and is in remission at 142+ months; and 3 are alive with disease at 32+, 72+, and 81+ months. One patient was lost to follow-up. CONCLUSIONS. This regimen appears to be an effective and well-tolerated palliative treatment for patients with recurrent meningeal leukemia and lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytarabine
  • Intrathecal
  • Intraventricular
  • Leu- kemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Meningeal
  • Methotrexate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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