Purpose: To assess, in a multicenter setting, the long-term outcomes of a brief course of high-dose methotrexate followed by radiotherapy for patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL).
Methods and materials: Forty-six patients were entered in a Phase II protocol consisting of methotrexate (1 g/m(2) on Days 1 and 8), followed by whole-brain irradiation (45-50.4 Gy). The median follow-up time was 7 years, with a minimum follow-up of 5 years.
Results: The 5-year survival estimate was 37% (+/-14%, 95% confidence interval [CI]), with progression-free survival being 36% (+/-15%, 95% CI), and median survival 36 months. Of the original 46 patients, 10 were alive, all without evidence of disease recurrence. A total of 11 patients have developed neurotoxicity, with the actuarial risk being 30% (+/-18%, 95% CI) at 5 years but continuing to increase. For patients aged>60 years the risk of neurotoxicity at 7 years was 58% (+/-30%, 95% CI).
Conclusion: Combined-modality therapy, based on high-dose methotrexate, results in improved survival outcomes in PCNSL. The risk of neurotoxicity for patients aged>60 years is unacceptable with this regimen, although survival outcomes for patients aged>60 years were higher than in many other series.