The most frequent nervous system complications of multiple myeloma are peripheral neuropathy and epidural spinal cord compression. Myelomatous meningitis (MM) has been considered rare. The current study was performed to characterize the clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome of MM.
The study was a case series of 14 patients with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-positive MM who were treated at a tertiary care university medical center.
Fourteen patients with advanced multiple myeloma were treated with involved-field radiotherapy (to the brain in 5 patients and the spine in 6 patients) and intra-CSF chemotherapy (ventricular in 10 patients and lumbar in 4 patients). The best response to treatment included 6 partial responses and 8 patients with progressive disease. The median duration of response was 2.5 months (range, 0–6 months). Cause of death was progressive neurologic disease in 6 patients, combined systemic and neurologic disease in 6 patients, and systemic disease progression in 2 patients.
MM is rare and morbid entity (6-month neurologic disease progression-free survival rate of 7%), and appears to be no more responsive to treatment than solid tumor carcinomatous meningitis. Cancer 2008. © 2008 American Cancer Society.