High-dose therapy and blood or marrow transplantation for non-Hodgkin lymphoma with central nervous system involvement

Yvette L. Kasamon, Richard J. Jones, Steven Piantadosi, Richard F. Ambinder, Ross A. Abrams, Michael J. Borowitz, Candis Morrison, B. Douglas Smith, Ian W. Flinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of autologous or allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) remains undefined in patients with central nervous system (CNS) involvement by lymphoma. The records of all adult and pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients receiving BMT at Johns Hopkins from 1980 to 2003 were reviewed, and 37 patients were identified who had CNS involvement that was treated into remission by the time of BMT. The chief histologies were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia. Twenty-four percent received intrathecal chemotherapy alone, and 70% received intrathecal chemotherapy and CNS irradiation before BMT. The main preparative regimens were cyclophosphamide/total body irradiation and busulfan/cyclophosphamide. Forty-one percent received an allogeneic transplant. Lymphoma relapsed after BMT in 14 patients (38%), and at least 5 had documented or suspected CNS relapse. In multivariate models, age ≥18 years at diagnosis, resistant systemic disease, busulfan/cyclophosphamide conditioning, and lack of intrathecal consolidation after BMT were statistically significant predictors of inferior survival. The 5-year actuarial event-free survival was 36%, and overall survival was 39%. After BMT, long-term survival is thus achievable in a subset of patients with a history of treated CNS involvement by non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The survival rates are not dissimilar to those typically seen in other high-risk lymphoma patients undergoing BMT. These data suggest that patients with lymphomatous involvement of the CNS who achieve CNS remission should be offered BMT if it is otherwise indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Blood or marrow transplantation
  • Central nervous system lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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