The safety of resection for primary central nervous system lymphoma: a single institution retrospective analysis

Michael Brendan Cloney, Adam M. Sonabend*, Jonathan Yun, Jingyan Yang, Fabio Iwamoto, Suprit Singh, Govind Bhagat, Peter Canoll, George Zanazzi, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Michael Sisti, Sameer Sheth, E. Sander Connolly, Guy McKhann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Surgical resection is not the standard of care for primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), as historical studies have demonstrated unfavorable complication rates and limited benefits. Some recent studies suggest that resection may provide a therapeutic benefit, yet the safety of these procedures has not been systematically investigated in the setting of modern neurosurgery. We examined the safety of surgical resection for PCNSL. We retrospectively analyzed all patients with PCNSL treated at Columbia University Medical Center between 2000 and 2015 to assess complications rates following biopsy or resection using the Glioma Outcomes Project system. We identified predictors of complications and selection for resection. Well-validated scales were used to quantify patients’ baseline clinical characteristics, including functional status, comorbid disease burden, and cardiac risk. The overall complication rate was 17.2% after resection, and 28.2% after biopsy. Cardiac risk (p = 0.047, OR 1.72 [1.01, 2.95]), and comorbid diagnoses (p = 0.004, OR 3.05 [1.42, 6.57]) predicted complications on multivariable regression. Patients who underwent resection had better KPS scores (median 70 v. 80, p = 0.0068, ∆ 10 [0.0, 10.00]), and were less likely to have multiple (46.5% v. 27.6%, p = 0.030, OR 1.42 [1.05, 1.92]) or deep lesions (70.4% v. 39.7%, p = 0.001, OR 1.83 [1.26, 2.65]). Age (p = 0.048, OR 0.75 per 10-year increase [0.56, 1.00]) and deep lesions (p = 0.003, OR 0.29 [0.13, 0.65]) influenced selection for resection on multivariable regression. Surgical resection of PCNSL is safe for select patients, with complication rates comparable to rates for other intracranial neoplasms. Whether there is a clinical benefit to resection cannot be concluded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Central nervous system lymphoma
  • CNS lymphoma
  • Complications
  • Resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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