Current Oncology Reports

, 20:11 | Cite as

Updates on Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

  • Lauren R. Schaff
  • Christian GrommesEmail author
Neuro-oncology (S Nagpal, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuro-oncology


Purpose of Review

Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is an aggressive malignancy confined to the brain, spinal cord, leptomeninges, and eyes. Due to its rarity, there is a paucity of randomized trials and a varied approach to its management in the oncologic community. This review summarizes recent literature guiding current clinical practice.

Recent Findings

The presentation, work up, and management of PCNSL are discussed. Induction therapy incorporates a methotrexate-based chemotherapy regimen and is generally followed by a consolidation regimen including high dose chemotherapy (with or without autologous stem cell rescue). Whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) is a potential additional consolidation strategy. Management of relapsed and refractory disease poses a special challenge due to poor outcomes. Immunotherapy and targeted treatments are promising novel strategies for recurrent/refractory patients.


Currently, there is little consensus in the management of PCNSL. Treatment recommendations should be tailored to the individual patient, with consideration for risk of neurotoxicity. New, exciting strategies are in development and when feasible, enrollment in a clinical trial should be considered.


Primary central nervous system lymphoma Primary CNS lymphoma PCNSL Treatment 



This research was supported by a NIH/NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (P30-CA008748) and supported by grants from the Lymphoma Research Foundation Career Development Award (C.G.), Susan and Peter Solomon Divisional Fund (C.G.), and Cycle for Survival Equinox Innovation Award (C.G.).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Lauren R. Schaff and Christian Grommes declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.New YorkUSA

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