Treatment Of Inoperable Brain Tumors
Central nervous system neoplasms are being "bathed" with uniform high concentrations of chemotherapeutic agents in a National Institutes of Health experimental clinical procedure.Over the past three years, 15 patients have been perfused by the method, which bypasses the "blood-brain barrier." Indwelling catheters carry the drug employed into and out of the cerebrospinal fluid space."At this point, we feel that any well-equipped neurosurgical service can carry out this therapy with safety," David P. Rall, MD, PhD, told JAMAMedical News. "The work is well past the classical Phase I stage."Actual therapeutic impact of the technique is still being assessed, he added. The bulk of studies to date have aimed at establishing safe limits for both procedure and agents used. Theoretically, the NIH procedure has singular advantages against intracranial lesions. But clinical evidence that the approach is either palliative or curative remains incomplete.