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Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions
Long-term survival of a patient with carcinomatous meningitis due to non-small cell lung cancer treated with erlotinib following gefitinib
  1. Tomoyoshi Takenaka1,2,
  2. Motoyuki Yamagata2,
  3. Atsushi Fukuda2,
  4. Takashi Sonoda2
  1. 1Thoracic Surgery Department, Kyushu Medical Center, Fukuoka, Japan
  2. 2Surgery Department, Saiseikai Karatsu Hospital, Karatsu, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tomoyoshi Takenaka, ttake{at}


The treatment of carcinomatous meningitis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer is unsatisfactory with a median survival ranging from 4 to 6 weeks without treatment. This report presents a rare case of a long-term survivor with carcinomatous meningitis which was revealed during gefitinib therapy, and was treated with erlotinib. A 55-year-old female never-smoker was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung and underwent a right upper lobectomy. Four years had passed since surgery, she started gefitinib therapy for recurrent lung cancer. During gefitinib therapy, she presented with headache and was diagnosed with caricinomatous meningitis. After changing her treatment to erlotinib, her symptoms temporarily improved and she remained alive for 10 months. Erlotinib therapy may represent a candidate treatment option for carcinomatous meningitis after gefitinib therapy.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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