Phase II study of CNS-directed chemotherapy including high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation for CNS relapse of aggressive lymphomas.
Background. The prognosis of patients with central nervous system relapse of aggressive lymphoma is very poor with no therapy established thus far. In a prospective multicenter phase II study we evaluated a potentially curative chemotherapy-only regimen in these patients. Design and Methods. Adult immunocompetent patients ≤65 years received induction chemotherapy with MTX/IFO/DEP (methotrexate 4 g/m2 i.v. day1, ifosfamide 2 g/m2 i.v. day3-5 and liposomal cytarabine 50mg intrathecally day6) and AraC/TT/DEP (cytarabine 3g/m2 i.v. day1-2, thiotepa 40 mg/m2 i.v. day2 and i.th. liposomal cytarabine 50mg intrathecally day3) followed by high-dose chemotherapy with carmustine 400 mg/m2 i.v. day -5, thiotepa 2x5mg/kg i.v. day -4 to -3 and etoposide 150 mg/m2 i.v. day -5 to -3 and autologous stem cell transplantation day0 (HD-ASCT). Results. Thirty eligible patients (median age 58 years) were enrolled. After HD-ASCT (n=24) there was a complete remission in 15 (63%), partial remission in two (8%) and progressive disease in seven (29%) patients. Myelotoxicity was the most adverse event with CTC grade 3/4 infections in 12% of MTX/IFO/DEP courses, 21% of AraC/TT/DEP courses and 46% of HD-ASCT courses. The 2-year time to treatment failure was 49%+/-19 for all patients and 58%+/-22 for patients completing HD-ASCT. Conclusions. The protocol assessed proved feasible and highly active with long-lasting remissions in a large proportion of patients. (ClinicalTrials.govIdentifier NCT01148173).