Intrathecal chemotherapy is provided to patients suffering from cancer of the central nervous system. It is also given to patients who have an increased risk of metastasis of certain cancers, such as lymphoma or acute lymphoblastic leukemia, to the central nervous system. Intrathecal chemotherapy is an effective method to deliver chemotherapy to the brain and spinal cord because the drugs delivered through the oral and injectable route do not reach the central nervous system in therapeutic concentration due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier.
Some of the risks associated with intrathecal chemotherapy through lumbar puncture are:
The doctor advises the patients to lie flat for around 1-2 hours, or until they feel comfortable. The patients may experience a headache after intrathecal therapy. The doctor may prescribe analgesics to relieve headaches. Once the patient feels well, he may get up and move around. However, the patients shouldn't work on machines for at least 24 hours after the procedure. If the patient has multiple sessions of intrathecal chemotherapy, he may undergo a lumbar puncture each time.