International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-019-02653-7 Pages: 86-94

Systemic HD-MTX for CNS prophylaxis in high-risk DLBCL patients: a prospectively collected, single-center cohort analysis

1. University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center

2. University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center

3. University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Asan Medical Center

Correspondence to:
Cheolwon Suh
Tel: +82-2-3010-3209



We evaluated the efficacy of systemic high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX) for CNS prophylaxis in a prospectively recruited cohort of DLBCL patients at high risk of CNS relapse. High-risk CNS relapse was defined as the involvement of ≥ 2 extranodal sites with elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); CNS international prognostic index (CNS-IPI) ≥ 4; or involvement of high-risk extranodal sites, including bone marrow, breasts, testes, and paranasal sinuses. Overall, 130 patients who received at least two cycles of standard chemoimmunotherapy were evaluated; of these, 64 patients received additional systemic HD-MTX, either on day 15 of alternating cycles or 2–5 weeks after completion of primary therapy. Patients receiving HD-MTX showed a generally higher risk of CNS relapse than the other 66 patients not receiving prophylaxis. The estimated 2-year cumulative CNS relapse, progression-free survival and overall survival rates were 8.1%, 66.3%, and 77.5%, respectively, in patients who received systemic HD-MTX and 6.9%, 67.4%, and 71.4%, respectively, in patients without prophylaxis, with no significant between-group differences. Although this study does not show that systemic HD-MTX is definitively effective, these results may be of help to other researchers investigating the utility of HD-MTX prophylaxis in mitigating negative risk factors.

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