[en] primary central nervous system lymphoma ; brain neoplasms ; stereotaxic biopsy ; chemotherapy ; radiation therapy
[en] We retrospectively analyzed 32 cases of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL). Five cases were diagnosed in the period 1987-1994, for 27 cases in the period 1995-2002. There were 17 men and 15 women whose median age was 69 years. Three patients were immunodeficient. The commonest symptoms were focal deficit (16 patients) and cognitive/behaviour disturbances (14 patients). Radiologically, a total of 47 contrast-enhancing lesions were observed in 32 patients; 18 patients had deep-seated lesions. All but two patients underwent histological diagnosis following craniotomy (11 patients) and/or stereotaxic biopsy (22 patients); diagnosis was obtained on CSF cytology in one patient with a third ventricle tumour. In the last patient, the diagnosis was based on the finding of marked tumour shrinkage under corticotherapy, despite two negative histological examinations. Treatment included surgical resection (10 patients), chemotherapy (25 patients) and/or radiotherapy (12 patients). According to the therapeutic recommendations of the GELA (Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte), 19 patients received at least two courses of high-dose methotrexate; intrathecal chemotherapy was used in 20 patients with methotrexate and/or cytosine arabinoside. Radiation therapy consisted of whole brain irradiation followed by a boost on tumour site. Nine patients received a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Twelve patients showed rapid progression to death. At the time of last contact, 28/32 patients (88%) had died, all from PCNSL disease or from complications due to its treatment. The median Survival time was 13.9 months. We conclude that PCNSL is an increasingly frequent tumour. The diagnosis is obtained by stereotactic biopsy in the majority of cases. The prognosis appears dismal despite an intensive multidisciplinary therapeutic approach. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.