Purpose: Primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) is confined to the CNS and/or the eyes at presentation and is usually initially treated with intravenous methotrexate-based chemotherapy and whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT). However, the intact blood-brain barrier (BBB) can limit diffusion of methotrexate into brain and tumor. With BBB disruption (BBBD), enhanced drug delivery to the tumor can be achieved. Patients and Methods: This report summarizes the multi-institutional experience of 149 newly diagnosed (with no prior WBRT) patients with PCNSL treated with osmotic BBBD and intra-arterial (IA) methotrexate at four institutions from 1982 to 2005. In this series, 47.6% of patients were age ≥ 60 years, and 42.3% had Karnofsky performance score (KPS) less than 70 at diagnosis. Results: The overall response rate was 81.9% (57.8% complete; 24.2% partial). Median overall survival (OS) was 3.1 years (25% estimated survival at 8.5 years). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 1.8 years, with 5-year PFS of 31% and 7-year PFS of 25%. In low-risk patients (age < 60 years and KPS ≥ 70), median OS was approximately 14 years, with a plateau after approximately 8 years. Procedures were generally well tolerated; focal seizures (9.2%) were the most frequent side effect and lacked long-term sequelae. Conclusion: This large series of patients treated over a 23-year period demonstrates that BBBD/IA methotrexate-based chemotherapy results in successful and durable tumor control and outcomes that are comparable or superior to other PCNSL treatment regimens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research