Medical College of Wisconsin
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Treatment of meningeal relapse in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I. Results of craniospinal irradiation. J Clin Oncol 1984 May;2(5):359-64



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0021240651 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   43 Citations


Fourteen children were treated for isolated meningeal relapse occurring seven to 44 months (median, 14 months) after prophylactic cranial irradiation (2,400 rad/12 fractions) and intrathecal methotrexate (IT MTX, 12 mg/m2 for four doses during cranial irradiation). Eight had "high-risk" acute lymphocytic leukemia with age less than 2 years, white blood cell counts greater than 20,000, or T cell markers. Treatment for central nervous system leukemia included IT MTX (12 mg/m2 twice weekly until clearance of spinal fluid cytology) followed by craniospinal irradiation (CSI, 3,000 rad/20 fractions to the cranium and 1,800 rad/12 fractions to the spine). No maintenance IT MTX was given. Systemic chemotherapy was continued or reinstituted for a minimum of one year after CSI. No instance of second meningeal relapse has occurred. Five patients remain in secondary complete remission 66+, 54+, 36+, 26+, and 24+ months after meningeal relapse. Disease-free survival was limited by marrow relapse in eight patients (2-20 months after CSI) and testicular relapse in one. No acute toxicities were noted with CSI. Myelosuppression occurred in seven patients. Infections within two months of CSI were noted in five. No neurologic sequelae are apparent. Serial neuropsychometric studies in 10 patients revealed a significant decline in mean values on Global IQ scales. Long-term survival with acceptable toxicity is possible following aggressive, prompt treatment of meningeal relapse occurring after prophylactic cranial irradiation. Hematologic relapse remains the major obstacle to long-term disease-free survival.

Author List

Kun LE, Camitta BM, Mulhern RK, Lauer SJ, Kline RW, Casper JT, Kamen BA, Kaplan BM, Barber SW

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Acute Disease
Bone Marrow Diseases
Child, Preschool
Combined Modality Therapy
Follow-Up Studies
Immune Tolerance
Injections, Spinal
Intelligence Tests
Leukemia, Lymphoid
Meningeal Neoplasms