Radiation in Low Doses Good in CNS Lymphoma

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Low-dose whole-brain radiation is safe and effective after chemotherapy for patients with primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, according to preliminary results from a phase II clinical trial presented this weekend at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting in Chicago.

The median progression-free survival (PFS) was nearly 8 years among patients given radiation treatment at a dose that is about half of the standard dose following chemotherapy.

Patients diagnosed with CNS lymphoma have a median age of 62. A rare tumor, it accounts for less than five percent of cancers originating in the brain. Treatment has traditionally meant whole-brain radiation, and patient outcomes have tended to be rather poor.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering recruited 52 patients for the trial that were newly diagnosed and treated them with combination chemotherapy. If patients achieved complete response, researchers gave them the half-dose radiation.

Researchers determined that the treatment regimen was effective as well as safe, and patients did not experience any significant cognitive problems, either in function or verbal memory.

Source: Medpage Today

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