Combined immunochemotherapy with reduced whole-brain radiotherapy for newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma

Gaurav D. Shah, Joachim Yahalom, Denise D. Correa, Rose K. Lai, Jeffrey J. Raizer, David Schiff, Renato LaRocca, Barbara Grant, Lisa M. DeAngelis, Lauren E. Abrey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our goals were to evaluate the safety of adding rituximab to methotrexate (MTX)-based chemotherapy for primary CNS lymphoma, determine whether additional cycles of induction chemotherapy improve the complete response (CR) rate, and examine effectiveness and toxicity of reduced-dose whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after CR. Patients and Methods: Thirty patients (17 women; median age, 57 years; median Karnofsky performance score, 70) were treated with five to seven cycles of induction chemotherapy (rituximab, MTX, procarbazine, and vincristine [R-MPV]) as follows: day 1, rituximab 500 mg/m2; day 2, MTX 3.5 gm/m2 and vincristine 1.4 mg/m 2. Procarbazine 100 mg/m2/d was administered for 7 days with odd-numbered cycles. Patients achieving CR received dose-reduced WBRT (23.4 Gy), and all others received standard WBRT (45 Gy). Two cycles of high-dose cytarabine were administered after WBRT. CSF levels of rituximab were assessed in selected patients, and prospective neurocognitive evaluations were performed. Results: With a median follow-up of 37 months, 2-year overall and progression-free survival was 67% and 57%, respectively. Forty-four percent of patients achieved a CR after five or fewer cycles, and 78% after seven cycles. The overall response rate was 93%. Nineteen of 21 CR patients received the planned 23.4 Gy WBRT. The most commonly observed grade 3 to 4 toxicities included neutropenia (43%), thrombocytopenia (36%), and leukopenia (23%). No treatment-related neurotoxicity has been observed. Conclusion: The addition of rituximab to MPV increased the risk of significant neutropenia requiring routine growth factor support. Additional cycles of R-MPV nearly doubled the CR rate. Reduced-dose WBRT was not associated with neurocognitive decline, and disease control to date is excellent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4730-4735
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number30
StatePublished - Oct 20 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Combined immunochemotherapy with reduced whole-brain radiotherapy for newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this