, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 233-239
Date: 17 Jan 2013

Early relapses in patients with primary CNS lymphoma treated with methotrexate-based chemotherapy without consolidating whole brain irradiation

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Methotrexate (MTX)-based chemotherapy is used as upfront treatment for most patients with primary CNS lymphoma. Whether consolidating whole brain irradiation (WBI) should be recommended for patients who achieve complete remission (CR) is still a matter of debate. Patients who are predicted to experience an early relapse (ER, ≤12 months from diagnosis) might especially benefit from consolidating treatment. We therefore evaluated the incidence and prognostic impact of ER in patients with CR following chemotherapy without WBI. We identified 40 patients between 2000 and 2010 who had achieved CR following MTX-based chemotherapy. Of 36 evaluable patients 11 (31 %) experienced an ER. These patients had significantly impaired overall survival (46.0 vs. 79.0 months, p = 0.001). Normal cerebrospinal fluid cell count (11.0 vs. 76.0 months, p = 0.001) and frequent reduction of MTX dose due to impaired creatinine clearance (10.0 vs. 48.0 months, p = 0.005) had a significantly negative impact on relapse-free survival. Patients with CR following MTX-based induction chemotherapy represent a heterogeneous population. In these patients, ER is an independent risk factor for impaired overall survival. Therefore, these patients might especially benefit from consolidating treatment. These results have to be validated by prospective trials.