The benefit of intrathecal therapy and systemic rituximab on the outcome of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma at risk of central nervous system disease is controversial. Furthermore, the effect of intrathecal treatment and rituximab in diffuse large B-cell and Burkitt lymphoma with occult leptomeningeal disease detected by flow cytometry at diagnosis is unknown. Untreated diffuse large B-cell (n=246) and Burkitt (n=80) lymphoma at clinical risk of central nervous system disease and having had pre-treatment cerebrospinal fluid were analyzed by flow cytometry and cytology. Spinal fluid involvement was detected by flow cytometry alone (occult) in 33 (13%) diffuse large B-cell and 9 (11%) Burkitt lymphoma patients, and detected by cytology in 11 (4.5%) and 5 (6%) patients, respectively. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with occult spinal fluid involvement had poorer survival (P=0.0001) and freedom from central nervous system relapse (P<0.0001) compared to negative cases. Burkitt lymphoma with occult spinal fluid involvement had an inferior freedom from central nervous system relapse (P=0.026) but not survival. The amount of intrathecal chemotherapy was quantitatively associated with survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with (P=0.02) and without (P=0.001) occult spinal fluid involvement. However, progression of systemic disease and not control of central nervous system disease was the principal cause of treatment failure. In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, systemic rituximab was associated with improved freedom from central nervous system relapse (P=0.003) but not with survival. Our results suggest that patients at risk of central nervous system disease should be evaluated by flow cytometry and that intrathecal prophylaxis/therapy is beneficial.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2013.101741, hdl.handle.net/1765/60243
Journal Haematologica
Citation
Wilson, W.H, Bromberg, J.E.C, Stetler-Stevenson, M, Steinberg, S.M, Martin-Martin, L, Muñiz, C, … Orfao, A. (2014). Detection and outcome of occult leptomeningeal disease in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma. Haematologica, 99(7), 1228–1235. doi:10.3324/haematol.2013.101741