Meningeal carcinomatosis in breast cancer: from diagnosis to treatment

C. Elm’hadi, Z. Es Sbai, M. Reda Khmamouche, M. Toreis, R. Tanz, H. Errihani, M. Ichou [REV NEUROL 2017;64:319-324] PMID: 28345737 DOI: OPEN ACCESS
Volumen 64 | Number 07 | Nº of views of the article 13.632 | Nº of PDF downloads 430 | Article publication date 01/04/2017
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ABSTRACT Artículo en español English version
The appearance of meningeal carcinomatosis in breast cancer is an event that is being reported increasingly more frequently in the literature. It seems to be related with the lengthening of the patients’ lives, improved sensitivity to diagnostic imaging and impermeability of the blood-brain barrier to the chemotherapeutic agents. It is an evolutionary form that affirms the metastatic invasion of the subarachnoidal space and is correlated with limited survival. Its diagnosis is difficult, due to the lack of specificity of the clinical signs dominated by headaches, cognitive disorders and possible signs and symptoms of progressive focal lesions. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and the spinal cord interpreted by a specialist in neuro-oncology is the preferred examination in this indication, in the search for an increase in meningeal enhancement. Biological analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid is an essential element in the diagnosis. In addition to the biochemical study, the presence of neoplastic cells is in itself enough to confirm the diagnosis. False negatives are very common and represent an important diagnostic problem that entails the need to repeat the lumbar punctures. The therapeutic methods are standard, often invasive, dominated by intrathecal chemotherapy and are based on low-level scientific evidence. This study analyses the epidemiology, the prognostic factors, the diagnostic tools, currently available treatments and the possible future therapies of meningeal carcinomatosis in breast cancer. KeywordsBreast cancerDiagnosisIntrathecal chemotherapyMeningeal carcinomatosisPrognosisTreatment CategoriesCáncer y tumores
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