CNS treatment

When leukaemia cells spread into the brain and spinal cord, it is important to inject chemotherapy directly into the CSF. This enables the destruction of the leukaemia cells.

Injection of cytarabine into the CSF can have the following regimens:

  • Two to three times/week until all the leukaemia cells are gone, followed by three further injections at the same dosage.
  • Every other week for approximately six cycles in special situations, for example patients with high levels of white blood cells.

Haematologists limit radiation therapy of the CNS for the 5% of patients who persistently show leukaemia cells in the body.