Autologous stem cell transplantation has greatly improved the prognosis of systemic recurrent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, no prospective data are available concerning the feasibility and efficacy of this strategy for systemic lymphoma relapsing in the central nervous system. We, therefore, we performed an international multicenter retrospective study of patients with a central nervous system recurrence of systemic lymphoma to assess the outcome of these patients in the era of stem cell transplantation. We collected clinical and treatment data on patients with a first central nervous system recurrence of systemic lymphoma treated between 2000 and 2010 in one of five centers in four countries. Patient- and treatment-related factors were analyzed and compared descriptively. Primary outcome measures were overall survival and percentage of patients transplanted. We identified 92 patients, with a median age of 59 years and a median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group/World Health Organization performance status of 2, of whom 76% had diffuse large B-cell histology. The majority (79%) of these patients were treated with systemic chemotherapy with or without intravenous rituximab. Twenty-seven patients (29%) were transplanted; age and insufficient response to induction chemotherapy were the main reasons for not being transplanted in the remaining 65 patients. The median overall survival was 7 months (95% confidence interval 2.6-11.4), being 8 months (95% confidence interval 3.8-5.2) for patients ≤ 65 years old. The 1-year survival rate was 34.8%; of the 27 transplanted patients 62% survived more than 1 year. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Prognostic Index for primary central nervous system lymphoma was prognostic for both undergoing transplantation and survival. In conclusion, despite the availability of autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with central nervous system progression or relapse of systemic lymphoma, prognosis is still poor. Longterm survival is, however, possible and more likely in patients able to undergo stem cell transplantation.,
Department of Neurology

Bromberg, J.E.C, Doorduijn, J.K, Illerhaus, G, Jahnke, K, Korfe, A, Fischer, L, … van den Bent, M.J. (2013). Central nervous system recurrence of systemic lymphoma in the era of stem cell transplantation - An international primary central nervous system lymphoma study group project. Haematologica, 98(5), 808–813. doi:10.3324/haematol.2012.070839