Capecitabine therapy of central nervous system metastases from breast cancer

Meltem Ekenel, Adilia M. Hormigo, Scott Peak, Lisa M. DeAngelis, Lauren E. Abrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Central nervous system (CNS) metastases from breast cancer carry a poor prognosis. Systemic chemotherapy is often ineffective due to the impermeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and inherent chemoresistance of CNS metastases. There are limited data supporting the use of capecitabine in this setting. Medical records of seven patients with brain metastases from breast cancer who received capecitabine treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1994-2006 were reviewed. Treatment outcomes were analyzed retrospectively in those patients. Median time from breast cancer diagnosis to the development of CNS metastasis was 48 (18-165) months. Four patients had brain metastases alone, two patients had both leptomeningeal and brain metastases and one patient had leptomeningeal metastasis alone. Five out of seven patients had failed other treatment modalities before capecitabine. Three patients showed complete response (CR) and three patients had stable disease (SD) after capecitabine. The patient with leptomeningeal disease improved clinically, but refused repeat cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies. Median overall and progression-free survival from initiation of capecitabine was 13 and 8 months, respectively, for all patients. Capecitabine may achieve a CR and provide long-term control in patients with both leptomeningeal and parenchymal CNS metastases from breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Capecitabine
  • Central nervous system metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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