High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation for primary central nervous system lymphoma: a multi-centre retrospective analysis from the United Kingdom
The prognosis of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) has improved in recent years. This has partly been achieved by remission induction protocols incorporating high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX) and rituximab. Given the high rates of relapse, consolidation therapy is usually considered in first response. Whole brain radiotherapy may prolong PFS but appears to confer no long-term survival advantage and is associated with significant neurocognitive dysfunction. Attempts to improve efficacy and reduce neurotoxicity of consolidation therapy have included thiotepa-based high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant (HDC-ASCT). This multi-centre, retrospective study reports the outcome of 70 patients undergoing HDC-ASCT for PCNSL in the United Kingdom. The median age at diagnosis was 56 years and all patients received HD-MTXcontaining induction regimens. All patients underwent HDC-ASCT in first response. The rate of complete response increased from 50% before HDC-ASCT to 77% following HDC-ASCT. Treatment-related mortality was 6%. At a median follow-up of 12 months from HDC-ASCT, the estimated 1- and 2-year PFS rates were 71.5% and overall survival 86.4% and 83.3%, respectively. These data are comparable to published studies of HDC-ASCT for PCNSL, supporting its feasibility and efficacy.