Age, gender, and racial differences in incidence and survival in primary CNS lymphoma

Br J Cancer. 2011 Oct 25;105(9):1414-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.357. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Background: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is a rare subtype of extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma that accounts for ~4% of newly diagnosed central nervous system (CNS) tumours. The objective of this study was to analyse the epidemiology, incidence, and outcome of these rare tumours.

Methods: Primary brain and CNS lymphoma cases were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) research data sets for the years 1980-2008 for analysis of trends in incidence and survival. SEER(*)Stat v. 7.0.4 software was used to analyse the data.

Results: The overall incidence rate of PCNSL was 0.47 per 100,000 person-years. The incidence was significantly higher in males compared with females, blacks aged 0-49 years at diagnosis compared with whites, and whites aged 50 years and older at diagnosis compared with blacks. After a significant decline in incidence between 1995 and 1999, incidence rates rose slightly; those aged 75+ years at diagnosis had the most dramatic increase in incidence rates over time. Five-year survival rates were significantly higher in whites compared with blacks aged 0-49 years at diagnosis, but was primarily driven by white women aged 0-49 years.

Conclusion: There is an increase in incidence of PCNSL in the elderly, and elderly blacks have lower incidence compared with white population. Survival remains poor and is negatively dominated by factors associated with HIV infection and advanced age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival