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Ommaya Reservoir

Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2006

Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of something called an "ommaya reservoir" which apparently is a device attached to the brain for the delivery of chemo? My father has stage IV lung cancer and while his tumors have shrinked with chemo/radiation, we just learned that they have spread to his brain. A neurosurgeon recommended this ommaya reservoir device. Any information would be appreciated.

reinstones1's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

If you do a search on Google for "ommaya reservoir", lots of information comes up. Here's a good one:


I've heard of one, but have no first-hand knowledge of treatment using one. I wish you and your father luck with his treatment, and I'll have you in my prayers.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

My Husband Had an Ommaya put in his brain for delivery of chemo in 2004. Once in place, this is never removed. My husband did well with this device.

gdpawel's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: May 2001

Many chemo drugs are "large" molecule type drugs (like Taxol). Scientists believe because they are large molecules, they are not able to reach inside the Central Nervous System (CNS), as it does the circulatory blood system. Thus, brain metastases have been more likely.

To make chemotherapy more effective for brain mets, drug(s) are injected directly into the spinal fluid via an Ommay Reservoir in the brain. Sometimes they found that giving both chemotherapy injected into the bloodstream and chemotherapy given directly into the spinal fluid may improve the outlook for some people.

For more information, google or yahoo "Leptomeningeal Carcinomatous" or "Carcinomatous Meningitis"

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