Intrapericardial carboplatin in the management of malignant pericardial effusion in breast cancer: a pilot study

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2019 Sep;84(3):655-660. doi: 10.1007/s00280-019-03897-0. Epub 2019 Jun 27.


Purpose: Malignant pericarditis is observed in 5.1-7.0% of all cases of acute pericarditis, and malignant pericardial effusion (MPE) can lead to cardiac tamponade in the later stages of cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common primary cancer associated with MPE, but the efficacy and safety of intrapericardial carboplatin (CBDCA) have never been evaluated in breast cancer. In this study, we assessed the clinical significance of intrapericardial CBDCA following catheter drainage in patients with breast cancer-related MPE.

Methods: A catheter was inserted percutaneously into the pericardial space under echocardiographic guidance. After complete drainage, 150 mg of CBDCA was instilled into the pericardial space through the catheter.

Results: Eight patients with symptomatic breast cancer-related MPE were treated at the Gunma Prefectural Cancer Center, between July 2010 and March 2016. One month after treatment, 100% of MPE was controlled. The median survival time from the recurrence of breast cancer until death or study follow-up was 2336 days (range 293-3937 days), while that from intrapericardial CBDCA administration until death or study follow-up was 552 days (range 35-1673 days). Grade 1 fever, nausea, hypotension, fatigue, and chest discomfort were observed in one patient (12.5%) after intrapericardial CBDCA administration.

Conclusions: We found that intrapericardial administration of CBDCA after catheter drainage appears to be safe and effective in managing breast cancer-associated MPE. As the number of patients in this study was small, further studies are warranted to determine the safety and efficacy of intrapericardial CBDCA in the management of breast cancer-related MPE.

Keywords: Acute pericarditis; Breast cancer; Catheter drainage; Intrapericardial carboplatin; Malignant pericardial effusion.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage*
  • Catheterization
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Middle Aged
  • Pericardial Effusion / drug therapy*
  • Pericardial Effusion / etiology
  • Pericardium
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pleural Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carboplatin