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Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis from Solid Tumor Malignancies: Treatment Strategies and Biomarkers.

Seminars in Neurology 2023 December
Leptomeningeal metastases/diseases (LMDs) are a late-stage complication of solid tumor or hematologic malignancies. LMD is spread of cancer cells to the layers of the leptomeninges (pia and arachnoid maters) and subarachnoid space seen in 3 to 5% of cancer patients. It is a disseminated disease which carries with it significant neurologic morbidity and mortality. Our understanding of disease pathophysiology is currently lacking; however, advances are being made. As our knowledge of disease pathogenesis has improved, treatment strategies have evolved. Mainstays of treatment such as radiotherapy have changed from involved-field radiotherapy strategies to proton craniospinal irradiation which has demonstrated promising results in recent clinical trials. Systemic treatment strategies have also improved from more traditional chemotherapeutics with limited central nervous system (CNS) penetration to more targeted therapies with better CNS tumor response. Many challenges remain from earlier clinical detection of disease through improvement of active treatment options, but we are getting closer to meaningful treatment.

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