Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 27–32 | Cite as

Treatment of primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) following successful treatment of systemic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL): a case series

  • Marc C. Chamberlain
Clinical Study


Management of PCNSL occurring after successful treatment of systemic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is poorly defined. Illustrate a treatment approach for PCNSL following prior treatment of a systemic NHL. A retrospective case series of 6 patients (mean age 60 years; range 46–65) diagnosed with a diffuse large B cell lymphoma of the CNS following prior successful treatment of a systemic NHL (low-grade in 2; high-grade in 4). Mean interval to diagnosis of PCNSL after diagnosis of systemic NHL was 12 months (range 7–18). In 4/6 patients in whom genetic analysis could be performed, the PCNSL and NHL differed. Treatment utilized high-dose methotrexate and rituximab (immunochemotherapy) followed in patients with a radiographic complete response by autologous peripheral stem cell transplant (ASCT) with total body irradiation (TBI) and multi-agent conditioning chemotherapy (BEAM: carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan). 5/6 patients had a radiographic complete response to immunochemotherapy and were treated with ASCT. 4/5 patients were free of disease following ASCT with a mean follow-up of 3 years (range 0.5–4 years). There were no toxic deaths and all patients transplanted successfully engrafted within 28 days (mean 18). Using a treatment paradigm similar to that utilized for recurrent systemic NHL (induction chemotherapy followed by ASCT) for PCNSL occurring metachronously after successful treatment of systemic NHL appears safe and effective.


Primary CNS lymphoma High-dose methotrexate/rituximab Systemic lymphoma Peripheral stem cell transplantation 


Conflict of interest

The author reports no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Neuro-Oncology, Department of Neurology and Neurological SurgeryFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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