, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 257-265

Therapy of primary central nervous system lymphoma with pre-irradiation methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and dexamethasone (MCHOD)

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Prior studies have suggested that pre-irradiation methotrexate (MTX)-based chemotherapy improves duration of response and survival in primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL). To circumvent the potential emergence of drug resistance, we combined high-dose MTX with agents highly active against systemic lymphoma. Patients received three week cycles of CHOD (cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2, doxorubicin 50 mg/m2, and vincristine 1.4 mg/m2 [2 mg maximum] on day 1; dexamethasone 10 mg/m2 days 1–5), and MTX (3.5 gm/m2) with leucovorin rescue on day 8 (or on recovery from the CHOD nadir). Whole brain irradiation (WBRT) was planned after at least three cycles. Eighteen patients were treated. Complete responses were seen in eleven patients, and partial responses in three. Four progressed during therapy, three succumbing to progressive disease and one subsequently responding to WBRT Response duration was 37.5 months in those responding to therapy. The time to progression for all eighteen patients was 19.5 months. Medial survival was 25.5 months. Disease-free survival was 50% at 38 months in MCHOD responders. Grade 3 or 4 myelotoxicity was seen in 19 of 50 cycles. There were three instances of neutropenic fever, three of azotemia, two of deep vein thrombosis, and one each of community-acquired pneumonia, intracranial hemorrhage, superior vena cava syndrome, and hepatotoxicity. Late radiation-related toxicities were seen in two patients. Pre-irradiation MCHOD has activity against PCNSL, but appears to be no better than MTX monotherapy and has greater toxicity.