Restoration of patency to central airways occluded by malignant endobronchial tumors using intratumoral injection of cisplatin

Hiren J. Mehta, Abbie Begnaud, Andrea M. Penley, John Wynne, Paras Malhotra, Sebastian Fernandez-Bussy, Jessica Cope, Jonathan J. Shuster, Michael A. Jantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Rationale: Malignant airway obstruction is commonly found in patients with lung cancer and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Relieving malignant obstruction may improve symptoms, quality of life, and life expectancy. Objectives: The objective of this study was to analyze our experience with bronchoscopic endobronchial intratumoral injection of cisplatin for malignant airway obstruction. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with malignant airway obstruction treated with bronchoscopic intratumoral injection of cisplatin. Patient characteristics, histology, degree of airway obstruction, procedural methods, treatment cycles, performance status, and therapeutic outcomes were evaluated. Tumor response was analyzed based on bronchoscopic measurements performed on completion the of final treatment session. Adverse events and overall survival were abstracted. Measurements and Main Results: Between January 2009 and September 2014, 22 patients (10 men, 12 women; mean age ± SD, 64.4 ± 9.5 yr) were treated with one to four injections of 40 mg of cisplatin mixed in 40 ml of 0.9% NaCl. Treatments were completed 1 week apart. The primary etiologies of airway obstruction included squamous cell carcinoma (n = 11), adenocarcinoma (n = 6), small cell carcinoma (n = 2), large cell undifferentiated carcinoma (n = 1), and metastatic endobronchial cancer (n = 2). Twenty-one of 22 patients were evaluable for response. The majority of patients (15/21, 71.4%) responded to therapy, defined as greater than 50% relative reduction in obstruction from baseline. Treatment response was obtained regardless of tumor histology, concurrent systemic therapy, number of treatment cycles administered, performance status, or use of additional ablative interventions. Responders had significantly improved overall survival as compared with nonresponders, although the difference was small. Severe treatment-related side effects or complications were not observed. Conclusions: Subject to the limitations of a single-center retrospective study and a subjective primary outcome measure, we have demonstrated the feasibility of improving the patency of central airways that are largely or completely occluded by endobronchial malignant tumor using intraluminal injection of cisplatin. Additional longer-term, larger-scale safety and comparative effectiveness studies of this palliative treatment modality are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1350
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 by the American Thoracic Society.


  • Cisplatin
  • Endobronchial injection of chemotherapy
  • Malignant airway obstruction


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