Combined chemotherapy with carboplatin plus irinotecan showed favorable efficacy in a patient with relapsed small cell carcinoma of the prostate complicated with meningeal carcinomatosis

Int J Clin Oncol. 2009 Oct;14(5):468-72. doi: 10.1007/s10147-008-0869-9. Epub 2009 Oct 25.


We report the case of a 65-year-old man with recurrent prostate cancer who presented with meningeal carcinomatosis. In September 2007, he had been diagnosed with mixed type small cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma at clinical stage T4N1M1 (primary prostate tumor with multiple bone, liver, and lymph node metastases) and hormonal therapy had been administered. Following an increase in the level of pro-gastrin-releasing peptide (ProGRP), combined chemotherapy with cisplatin plus etoposide was implemented and showed efficacy in targeting the small cell carcinoma. In March 2008, he presented with signs of meningeal irritation; his condition deteriorated quickly and multiple brain metastases were confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A sample of cerebrospinal fluid collected by lumbar puncture showed cancer cells and an elevated level of ProGRP. Small cell carcinoma of the prostate complicated with meningeal carcinomatosis was diagnosed. A different chemotherapy regimen was then administered, consisting of a combination of carboplatin plus irinotecan, which is one of the most common first-line treatments for extensive-stage small cell lung carcinoma. From day 20 after the initiation of this therapy, he gradually recovered from the signs of meningeal irritation, and brain MRI showed nearly normal findings; also, the serum level of ProGRP was reduced. In conclusion, we report the efficacy of combined treatment with carboplatin plus irinotecan for small cell carcinoma of the prostate complicated with meningeal carcinomatosis. Because this clinical condition is extremely rare, a gold standard treatment has yet to be established.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / secondary
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meningeal Carcinomatosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningeal Carcinomatosis / drug therapy*
  • Meningeal Carcinomatosis / metabolism
  • Meningeal Carcinomatosis / secondary
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Recombinant Proteins / blood
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • pro-gastrin-releasing peptide (31-98)
  • Irinotecan
  • Carboplatin
  • Camptothecin