How is intrathecal chemotherapy used to treat leukemia?

Request Your Free Consultation

Intrathecal chemotherapy is used to treat cancer in the central nervous system. Because chemotherapy drugs generally will not pass through the blood-brain barrier, treatment for some forms of leukemia and lymphoma are introduced directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

The medication may be given via a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap. A needle is inserted into the spine; once the drug is injected, the needle is removed.

An alternative method is often used if a patient needs multiple treatments. The chemotherapy medication is introduced directly into a ventricle in the brain using an Ommaya reservoir. This device is placed under the scalp and delivers the medication through a catheter into the fluid surrounding the brain. Once the Ommaya reservoir is in place, the patient may have to stay lying down for a while so that the medication reaches the entire spinal cord and brain; afterwards he or she can leave and will need no further lumbar punctures.

A chemotherapy overdose in Kentucky can cause discomfort, injury, or even death. If you are a victim of such a mistake, contact the lawyers who are experienced at handling Kentucky medication error cases. Call Gray and White Law at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.