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Analysis of Radiotherapy in 1054 Patients with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Treated from 1985 to 2009

Y. Shibamoto, M. Sumi, M. Takemoto, E. Tsuchida, S. Onodera, H. Matsushita, C. Sugie, Y. Tamaki, H. Onishi



Data on primary central nervous system lymphoma that had been collected through surveys for four consecutive periods between 1985 and 2009 were analysed to evaluate outcomes according to treatment.

Materials and methods

All had histologically proven disease and had received radiotherapy. No patients had AIDS. Among 1054 patients, 696 died and 358 were alive or lost to follow-up. The median follow-up period for surviving patients was 37 months.


For all patients, the median survival time was 24 months; the 5 year survival rate was 25.8%. Patients treated with methotrexate-based chemotherapy and radiation had a higher 5 year survival rate (43%) than those treated with radiation alone (14%) and those treated with non-methotrexate chemotherapy plus radiation (20%), but differences in relapse-free survival were smaller among the three groups. The 5 year survival rate was 25% for patients treated with whole-brain irradiation and 29% for patients treated with partial-brain irradiation (P = 0.80). Patients receiving a total dose of 40–49.9 Gy had a higher 5 year survival rate (32%) than those receiving other doses (21–25%, P = 0.0004) and patients receiving a whole-brain dose of 30–39.9 Gy had a higher 5 year survival rate (32%) than those receiving ≥40 Gy (13–22%, P < 0.0005). Patients receiving methotrexate-based chemotherapy and partial-brain radiotherapy (≥30 Gy) had a 5 year survival rate of 49%.


The optimal total and whole-brain doses may be in the range of 40–49.9 and <40 Gy, respectively, especially in combination with chemotherapy. Patients receiving partial-brain irradiation had a prognosis similar to that of those receiving whole-brain irradiation. With methotrexate-based chemotherapy, partial-brain radiotherapy may be worth considering for non-elderly patients with a single tumour.

DOI: 10.1016/j.clon.2014.06.011


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