CNS Drugs

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 447–457

Pharmacotherapy for Primary CNS Lymphoma

Progress Beyond Methotrexate?
Current Opinion

DOI: 10.2165/11589030-000000000-00000

Cite this article as:
Graber, J.J. & Omuro, A. CNS Drugs (2011) 25: 447. doi:10.2165/11589030-000000000-00000


Studies conducted in the 1990s have established that high-dose methotrexate-based chemotherapy added to whole-brain radiotherapy improves survival in primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL). However, radiotherapy-related delayed neurotoxicity has emerged as a serious complication of chemo-radiotherapy, particularly in the elderly. Unfortunately, omitting radiotherapy results in decreased progression-free survival, and therefore establishing more effective chemotherapy regimens is necessary in order to improve the number of long-term remissions. Recent studies have suggested that a combination of drugs is superior to single-agent methotrexate, but the optimal chemotherapy combination and the role of alternative consolidation treatments such as reduced-dose radiotherapy and high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue remain to be defined. In this article, we review the multiple chemotherapy options reported in newly diagnosed and in progressive/ refractory PCNSL, including recently reported and ongoing clinical trials, as well as future perspectives.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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