There is no uniform standard of care for the treatment of refractory or recurrent primary central nervous lymphoma (r/r PCNSL). Many different systemic treatment regimens have been studied, but available data are based on small prospective or retrospective reports. There have been no randomized controlled trials in r/r PCNSL to date. Here, we provide an overview of published systemic regimens for the treatment of r/r PCNSL, as well as therapies that are under investigation. In addition, based on available data, we propose strategies of how to approach choice of therapy for different groups of patients in this disease setting. Patients can be mainly divided into three groups: 1) patients suitable for a re-challenge with high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX)-based regimens and that may or may not be candidates for consolidation with high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplant, 2) patients refractory to HD-MTX or that had early relapse, but suitable for an aggressive treatment strategy with re-induction with non-MTX-based therapy, possibly followed by high-dose chemotherapy with autologous transplant, and 3) patients not suitable for re-treatment with HD-MTX and that are not candidates for aggressive therapy. As PCNSL is a rare disease and as there is urgent need for better outcomes in r/r PCNSL, clinical trial participation is encouraged, especially in elderly or frail patients who are not candidates for high-dose chemotherapy and transplant.
- Autologous stem cell transplant
- B-cell lymphoma
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma
- Recurrent PCNSL
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)