Background: The results of animal studies suggest that superselective intra-arterial infusion allows the permeation of a high concentration of chemotherapeutic agents within intracranial neoplasms. In the present report, we review our clinical experience with the 100 intra-arterial infusions of carboplatin in intracranial neoplasms not responsive to other treatment modalities. Methods: Carboplatin was infused in 100 separate sessions (24 patients) as a mean dose of 286 ± 60 mg/m2 (range 34-377 mg/m2). RMP-7, a bradykinin analog, was used as an adjunct in 28 sessions (6 patients). The infusions were performed through superselective microcatheterization of the following arteries: internal carotid (n = 39), middle cerebral (n = 61), posterior cerebral (n = 21) and anterior cerebral (n = 10). The frequency of neurological and non-neurological complications, and survival were recorded. In a subset of 10 patients, tumor volume was measured by serial magnetic resonance images to assess therapeutic response to therapy. Results: The mean age of the patients was 44.5 years (range 26-67 years); 13 were men. The tumors were classified as glioblastoma multiforme (n = 12), metastatic tumor (n = 1), high-grade astrocytoma (n = 6), and anaplastic mixed glioma (n = 5). Follow-up was available for 23 patients (mean 22 months, range 2-69 months). Survival beyond 1 year after initiation of intra-arterial carboplatin therapy was documented in 12 of the 23 patients. A total of 13 neurological complications including seizures (n = 7), transient neurological deficits (n = 5), and ischemic stroke (n = 1) were observed in 100 procedures. A lower frequency of complications occurred in men and in patients who received adjunctive RMP-7. Volumetric analysis of serial magnetic resonance images demonstrated tumor mass reduction in 3 out of 10 patients. An increase in tumor mass ranging from 23% to 230% was observed in the other 7 patients over a period ranging from 2.3 to 37.7 months since initiation of carboplatin therapy. Conclusions: Superselective intra-arterial administration of carboplatin appears feasible and was associated with predominantly transient neurological complications. The addition of RMP-7 to carboplatin therapy appears to be at least as safe as the administration of carboplatin alone and requires further investigation as a means of chemotherapeutic dose intensification.
- Glioblastoma multiforme
- Middle cerebral artery