Selective intra-arterial chemotherapy with a combination of etoposide and cisplatin for malignant gliomas: preliminary report

Surg Neurol. 1994 Jan;41(1):19-27. doi: 10.1016/0090-3019(94)90203-8.


We administered selective intra-arterial chemotherapy consisting of a combination of etoposide and cisplatin to 20 patients with malignant glioma (seven with recurrent and six with enlarged tumors after initial treatment, and seven newly diagnosed patients). Evaluation of efficacy was based on computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging findings. In the process of establishing a safe technique for superselective intra-arterial chemotherapy, we encountered cerebrovascular accidents in two patients (after etoposide in one and after etoposide plus cisplatin in the other). In these two cases, 100 mg/m2 of etoposide and 100 mg/m2 of cisplatin were delivered via the horizontal segment of the middle cerebral artery (M1) or the tip of the basilar artery, with the infusion time reduced to 20 minutes. Thereafter, the etoposide was diluted, and the doses of both drugs were reduced to 80 or 50 mg/m2, and finally to 60 mg/m2, and both were infused over 60 minutes. In addition, for prevention of local spasm, papaverine hydrochloride and nicardipine were given via the same catheter at 5-minute intervals during administration of etoposide and cisplatin. No complications developed in the later cases. Thereafter, selective intra-arterial infusion of etoposide and cisplatin into the anterior cerebral artery, middle cerebral artery, posterior cerebral artery, or the basilar artery for malignant gliomas in the basal ganglia, internal capsule, and brainstem--a procedure generally considered risky in terms of potential complications--was performed safely, with tolerable side effects. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging indicated improvement in 13 patients, including four whose tumors completely disappeared. This method of intra-arterial chemotherapy may be useful as an adjuvant treatment for malignant glioma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Etoposide
  • Cisplatin